In a move to battle plastic menace, South Central Railways has installed machines that would crush and recycle bottles at railway stations in Kachiguda, Secunderabad, Nizamabad and Vijayawada.
At a time when plastics in general, and plastic bottles in particular, are being widely recognised as being extremely harmful for the environment, the Indian Railways is attempting to do its bit to raise awareness. Travellers at the four stations were recently greeted by the big machines which would crush the bottles for plastic to be reused. "The aim to install these machines is to protect the environment. If any passenger wants to throw the plastic water bottle they can put into this machine where it will crush the water bottle," Uma Shankar, CPRO of South Central Railways, told news agency ANI.
In several countries, there are machines which also offer money in return for plastics. A machine in Istanbul in Turkey even dispenses free food for stray dogs each time someone flings a plastic bottle into it.
India is not too far behind in the fight against plastic. Maharashtra recently intrioduced a state-wide ban on the use of plastic with fines ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. Environmentalists believe, however, that rise in awareness is the best way forward in ensuring a world free from plastic.