Posts Tagged ‘GOODBYE PLASTIC!’

GOODBYE PLASTIC!

Adhering to Maharashtra’s plastic ban initiative, premium trains from Mumbai to Delhi will begin serving meals in bagasse ware

The railways have started manufacturing bagasse packaging to serve food aboard premium trains along the Mumbai-Delhi route, such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi. The idea is to transition completely to bagasse in phases and liberate the railways from plastic that is strewn across the seats and floors of long-distance trains.

As per railway officials, an average of 1.5 tonne of garbage is retrieved from trains coming into the city. “Almost 90 per cent of this garbage is plastic, which includes food packets that passengers order while aboard the train.” The railways hopes that by introducing biodegradable food packets, they will be able to tackle this menace. “Currently, our food packets, including plates and cups are made of either thermocol or plastic. Hence, if we transition to biodegradable materials, we can safely dispose into BMC dustbins,” say officials.

The State of Maharashtra decided to ban plastic in its territory beginning June 23 this year and the move has been welcomed by most government authorities. But the initiative by the railways, namely the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) who provide the food in these trains has just scratched the surface. IRCTC general manager (West Zone, Mumbai) says, “Right now, we have planned only for the trains from Delhi to Mumbai but eventually the bagasse packaging will be introduced in trains that will be going from Mumbai to Delhi as well.”

DID YOUR KNOW?

The Central and Western railways have almost 100 long-distance trains entering the city every day, with each train bringing their share of garbage.

WHY BAGASSE?

Made from leftover
sugarcane, bagasse is
flexible and thick
enough to hold food.
Unlike paper products,
this material can also
hold liquid food;
Bagasse is easily
available in India as
the sugarcane crop re-
quires tropical condi-
tions;
The decomposition
process of this material
is natural. Unlike paper
products that release
methane, bagasse de-
composes organically.

IT’S OFFICIAL

In a statement to Times Property, IRCTC says, “We have launched environment-friendly bagasse-based food packaging on a trial basis on eight select Shatabdis and Rajdhanis originating from New Delhi. IRCTC reaffirms its commitment to a cleaner and greener India and hence, will gradually introduce bagasse products, which are the fibrous remains after extracting sugarcane juice, for serving meals to passengers in all the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains. Bagasse is used to make disposable cutlery and containers in which meals will be served. Proper collection and disposal system through composting will ensure environmental sustainability.”

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