By Prarthana Mitra
India hosted this year’s World Environment Day on the theme,“Beat Plastic Pollution”, on June 5, which is a day marked by the United Nations to celebrate and create awareness about the global environment.
The event marked the confluence of all member nations coming together to pledge for a plastic bag, and combat single-use plastic pollution, with India setting an example by leading plastic clean-up drives on a national scale.
To that end, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) announced on Wednesday, that it will join hands with the agrarian sector and introduce biodegradable cutlery on trains.
A Small Step to Beat Plastic Pollution: On #WorldEnvironmentDay, Indian Railways has started using fully biodegradable packages in 4 Shatabadi and 4 Rajadhani trains from Delhi, contributing towards a greener planet. pic.twitter.com/ILcwHN1wgK
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 5, 2018
The idea is to recycle bagasse, the fibrous by-product after extracting the juice from sugarcane, into disposable cutlery and containers to serve meals to commuters, replacing the plastic packaging which was in use until now. As a small gesture to commemorate World Environment Day, the IRCTC initiated the service on eight Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains from Wednesday.
Provisions will also be made, according to Mint, to collect the used packaging and reprocess them before final disposal through composting, thus further ensuring environmental sustainability.
Why you should care
Comprehensive steps such as this reaffirm India’s commitment to creating a cleaner and more sustainable planet. India which is regularly ranked as one of the most polluted countries in the world has a collective responsibility to combat the issue especially at a time when tonnes of plastic waste is being dumped every minute into the oceans.
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 5, 2018
Plastic which is non-biodegradable, not only proves to be hazardous for human health but adversely affects wildlife and ecology to an irreparable extent. Indian Railways’ eco-friendly initiative ought to be implemented across all sectors which use plastic extensively, with proper measures in place to replace it with eco-friendly alternatives.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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