New Delhi: Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), which runs India’s busiest airport, Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, has been successfully certified as India’s plastic-free airport on Monday. The Confederation of Indian Industry-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CII-ITC CESD) that supports the business community towards achieving sustainability has certified DIAL for its successful voluntary implementation of single-use plastic-free airport measures. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said in a tweet, “Excited to share that #DelhiAirport has been certified as #SingleUsePlastic free Airport!”
— Delhi Airport (@DelhiAirport) February 17, 2020
Delhi Airport is a leading airport both in passenger and cargo capabilities with annual traffic of 68.5 million passengers per annum in 2019. To become a single-use plastic free airport, Delhi Airport has successfully prohibited items like plastic grocery bags, food packaging, straws, containers, cups and cutlery and replaced it with eco-friendly alternatives. The airport authorities have initiated smart and bio-friendly packaging for takeaways. Likewise, all the retail outlets inside the airport have been asked to switch to bags that are made from environment-friendly materials like cloth and paper.
In an official press statement, DIAL Chief Executive Officer Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said,
Our objective to make Delhi Airport free from single-use plastic is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to abolish all single-use plastic from India by 2022. We are committed to preserving the environment and do our bit.
Delhi Airport was the first Indian airport to make a ‘single-use plastic-free’ commitment back in September 2018.
IGI airport isn’t the first airport in India to act against plastic pollution. In November 2017, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), became India’s first airport to install waste recycling machines. The machines were installed to prevent plastic from going to landfills. The installed machines crush plastic PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, steel/aluminium cans, and plastic bags in an eco-friendly way. Passengers get an option to either make a donation or claim a discount coupon in return for submitting their empty plastic water bottles/bags/metal cans into the crushing machine.
In 2018, the Jammu civil airport authorities declared the airport premises free from the use of single-use plastic like plastic straws, spoons, bottles, carry bags and other hazardous plastic items. The eco-friendly move was taken to support the Central government’s commitment to eliminate single-use plastic items from the country by 2022.
In 2019, to support India’s battle against plastic, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) imposed a ban on single-use plastics at 129 airports across the country. Currently, out of 129, 16 airports have been declared as single-use plastic-free.
16 airports in India that have been declared single-use plastic-free are
AAI has also engaged the Quality Council Of India to check how the ban has been implemented in plastic-free airports across the country that handle about 10 lakh passengers every year.