The Ministry of Railways on Wednesday directed all Railway units to enforce a ban on single-use plastic material, with less than 50-micron thickness, from October 2. Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call in his Independence Day speech to eliminate single-use plastic in the country from October 2, the Indian Railways has issued a circular stating instruction that will be enforced soon.
The railway vendors will be asked to avoid the use of plastic carry bags. The staff should reduce, reuse and refuse plastic products and use inexpensive reusable bags to reduce the plastic footprint. Taking a step, the IRCTC will implement the return of plastic drinking water bottles as part of Extended Producer Responsibility. The plastic bottle crushing machines will be provided expeditiously.
The emphasis will be on making necessary arrangements to minimise the generation of plastic waste and its eco-friendly disposal. The Railways will give enough time to all concerned to prepare for “Plastic Free Railway”.
Ministry of Railways has also instructed its Railway units that a pledge can be administered on October 2 to cut the use of plastics. It will also adapt Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measure to create awareness among railway users.
The step comes a day after the Lok Sabha Secretariat banned the use of "non-reusable plastic water bottles and other plastic items" within the Parliament House Complex. According to a circular, the staff of the secretariat and other allied agencies working in the Parliament House Complex have been asked to comply with the directions.
They have also been advised to use environment-friendly or biodegradable bags and materials. The circular was issued on Monday and the information conveyed to the media on Tuesday.