New Delhi: India aims to be free from single-use plastic items by 2022. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has taken a step in that direction and imposed a ban on single-use plastics at 129 airports across the country, on Monday. Currently, out of 129, 16 airports have been declared as single-use plastic free.
16 Airports Declared Single-Use Plastic Free
In a statement released on Monday, AAI said,
Various steps have been undertaken to eliminate single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates etc.
Being an environmentally-conscious public sector enterprise, #AAI is committed towards its Corporate Social Responsibility and has taken measures to ensure that Terminal Buildings at its 16 Airports across the country are "Single-use Plastic free" Terminals. #AAICares pic.twitter.com/CB8kUrWjKL
— Airports Authority of India (@AAI_Official) January 4, 2019
AAI has also engaged the Quality Council Of India to check how the ban has been implemented in 34 airports across the country that handle about 10 lakh passengers every year. Along with it, AAI is also enhancing its waste management systems and is promoting the use of eco-friendly sustainable alternatives progressively such as the use of bio-degradable garbage bags in the bins and installation of plastic bottle crushing machines at airports.
To guide people about plastic-free initiatives, AAI has also started various awareness campaigns at airports for sensitising all stakeholders, especially passengers.
Highlights From Airports That Have Become Plastic-Free
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has become the first airport in the country to install waste recycling machines that help in crushing plastic PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, steel/aluminium cans and plastic bags in an eco-friendly way. Not just that, the airport plans to have its own composting plant, which will help in processing the food waste generated at the airport.
Jammu’s Civil Airport won the battle against plastic recently when on November 1 the authorities declared the airport free from single-use plastic. At the airport, from plastic cutlery, glassware, crockery to plastic carry bags, each and every single-use plastic item have been replaced with eco-friendly alternatives. The plastic straws and cups have been replaced by paper straws and paper cups, plastic spoons, forks, and plates have been replaced by 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable tableware from a company called ‘Ecoware’. Along with this, the widely used plastic bags have been replaced by cloth bags, paper bags and traditional brown paper bags.
Often tagged as India’s busiest airport, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, has also announced that it will make the airport plastic-free by the end of 2019.
More Steps Taken In Swachh Direction
Apart from making airports free from the use of plastic, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also decided to put up sanitary napkin vending machines at airports across the country and provide women access to sanitary pads.
Airports With Access To Sanitary Pad Vending Machine
- Port Blair
Taking a step ahead, the AAI has also asked airports to install incinerators so that sanitary waste can be effectively managed. Some of the airports in India like Chandigarh airport have also taken a lead to provide women with eco-friendly alternatives to sanitary pads.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.