Following the law banning use of plastic in Maharashtra, the Central Railway authorities (CR) are looking forward to use paper glasses instead of plastic at the water vending machines, catering stalls and on-board of train stalls. However, the official meeting to arrive at the final decision on prohibiting use of plastic on railway stations and its surroundings is yet to be held.
“We will be holding a meeting this week with catering staff, Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) officials and railway stall owners to discuss the action plan for banning the use of plastics on railway stations,” said a senior railway official.
“We will implement the ban strictly at all our railway stations. We would also be discussing the installation of recycling machines in the meeting,” said SK Jain, divisional railway manager, CR.
At present, majority of the water vendors and food plaza operators use plastic glasses to serve water, tea and cold drinks to passengers. They have recently been informed about the plastic
ban by IRCTC. Also, the vendors have been asked to adopt alternative options to plastic glasses. “We are in the process of streamlining the process of replacing the plastic glasses, wafer covers and everything that is being banned,” said an official.
Supporting the laws on plastic ban, the private players and railway contractors like RK Associates by Rajeev Mittal, Rail Restro by Manish Chandra and Otik are considering revamping their packaging for Railway catering.
As a matter of fact, there a number of water vending machines (WVMs) installed in various suburban stations of Mumbai, which allow people to refill their bottles or use plastic glasses. Every machine has a capacity to hold 200-400 litres of water and approximately contains 300-500 plastic glasses.
Furthermore, a ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ manual pertaining to the use of plastic products is also to be introduced by the railway authorities. It will list out the plastic products to be banned completely by food stalls.
“We have June as the deadline for the ban. We are in the process of replacing the plastic glasses, wafer covers and everything that is being banned,” said a senior rail official.