- Railways introduces eco-friendly disposable plates made of bagasse
- Eco-friendly plates were introduced on a trial basis on Sealdah Rajdhani
- Soon the scheme will be extended to passengers of premium trains
New Delhi: Indian Railways continues its journey towards a green future. After introducing bio-toilets, and modernising its toilets with auto janitor system to automatically clean and deodrise toilets, the department has been working to create green corridors, which ensures zero toilet discharge on rail tracks. Next it introduced disposable, eco-friendly hand towels and pillow covers made of biodegradable cotton. The latest step taken in the direction to turn Indian Railways , which is replacing plastic/polymer plates with the eco-friendly disposable plates made of bagasse. The scheme has been introduced on a trial basis on the Sealdah Rajdhani. Soon, it will be extended to passengers of premium trains and eventually it will be extended to all the trains in which meals are served to the passengers.
In a statement released to PTI, a senior official said,
This will be biodegradable plates that can be disposed of safely. While on one hand we go green, we are also ensuring that passengers get fresh plates every time. There is no added issue of cleaning and washing the plates or complaints about dirty plates.
Bagasse is basically the dry pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugarcane. Products made from bagasse require a month to two to compost and during that degradation process they provide natural ingredients back to the environment. Bagasse products are grease, cut and heat resistant and so it can be used in microwave. These are also firm and can hold a reasonable amount of weight.
Everything that is good comes with a price and so does these eco-friendly disposable plates. Ranging between Rs. 4 and Rs. 8, these plates are a tad costlier than the regular plastic plates which cost between Rs. 1 and Rs. 5, but officials are of the belief that environmental benefits outweigh the negatives.
We will have the advantage of economies of scale. Also, it will be a great opportunity for the companies to showcase their wares which is still a new product, the officials told PTI.