In the past few years, India has seen a massive shift towards more sustainable and environment-friendly policies, public initiatives, awareness and education. From a state-wide ban on plastic to a range of eco-friendly brands, companies and lifestyle approaches, as a country we’ve made significant progress and continue to do so.
Adding to this wave of change is a recent ban on all single-use plastic items in nearly 130 airports across India. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) released a statement announcing their plan to make all airports plastic-free, and this is only the first phase.
Airports typically have several tonnes of plastic used every day: plastic cutlery in wrapped in plastic packets, plastic-wrapped food items for purchase, plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic straws – the list is nearly endless. It’s become so ingrained in us to use-and-throw that we don’t even notice the amount of plastic we consume. Airports are frequented by millions of people daily, and a bid to make them greener is a strong first step in reducing our overall consumption of disastrous products.
The ban has already been implemented in 34 airports including Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Pune and Indore. The Quality Council of India (QCI) is carrying out a third-party assessment to determine the amount of plastic waste generated and the success of these policies. According to the AAI statement, the assessment is expected to be completed by the end of January 2019.
“AAI is also enhancing its waste management systems and is promoting the use of eco-friendly sustainable alternatives progressively like [the] use of bio-degradable garbage bags in garbage bins and installation of plastic bottles crushing machine[s] at airports. AAI airports have also started various awareness campaigns for sensitising all stakeholders, [especially] passengers, towards the cause and to drive engagement and cooperation from all of them,” asserted AAI in their statement.
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