The Railway Ministry has directed all units of the national carrier to enforce a ban on single-use plastic material within its premises, including trains, from October 2, 2019.
This year's Gandhi Jayanti will also mark 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Notably, the move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized on the need to ban non-reusable plastic, in his I-Day speech.
Focus on minimal generation of plastic-waste, instructs Ministry of Railways
To preserve the Environment, Indian Railways resolves to ban single use plastic material in Railway premises from 2nd Oct.2019. Minimal generation of plastic waste its eco-friendly disposal is being emphasised. Join us in our endeavour to make IR as 'Plastic Free Railways'. pic.twitter.com/GaE7IkmLoe
Installation of 1,853 plastic bottle crushing machines to be expedited
The Railway Board has directed authorities to expedite the installation of 1,853 plastic bottle crushing machines at 360 major stations in the first phase.
Further, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been asked to implement return of plastic drinking bottles from passengers, as part of Extended Producer Responsibility.
Additionally, Railway vendors have been advised to avoid use of plastic carry bags.
Railway employees also asked to use inexpensive, reusable bags
The Railways has also taken its employees on board to carry out the move. They have been advised to "reduce, reuse and refuse" plastic products, and to instead use inexpensive, reusable bags in order to cut down plastic footprint in railway premises.
Meanwhile, non-reusable plastic items have been prohibited within Parliament complex
The Indian Railways' plunge to prohibit single-use plastic items comes after the Lok Sabha Secretariat announced the prohibition of use of non-reusable plastic water bottles and other plastic items within the Parliament House Complex.
The Secretariat said it was "a step towards the call by the Prime Minister to the nation to make the country free from plastics".
"Lok Sabha totally prohibits use of non-reusable plastic items"
On the occasion of 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi had urged citizens to abandon use of single-use plastic take significant steps to achieve this objective when we celebrate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2 October 2019.
Apparently, these steps are inspired from the I-Day speech that PM Modi delivered, a fortnight ago.
He had urged citizens to reduce use of single-use plastics.
"Can we free India from single-use plastic? The time for implementing such an idea has come. May teams be mobilized to work in this direction. Let a significant step be made on October 2," he had said.