Indian airports are taking steps to reduce plastic waste


When it comes to generating plastic waste, India is certainly no laggard. A staggering 25,940 tons of plastic waste is generated in the country every single day. Around 80% of plastic products are discarded and at least 40% of plastic waste is left uncollected.

Encouragingly, though, the planet’s second most populous nation is making efforts to reduce its massive amounts of plastic waste. The federal government has been developing better waste management infrastructure through projects such as “Swachh Bharat” (Clean India), while various states have been doing likewise.

Now the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also joined in he clean-up initiatives. The AAI has declared 16 of the 90 airports under its purview free of single-use plastic products, meaning no such items are sold on site. It’s also considering enacting a similar ban on all single-use plastic items at 34 airports, which together handle 1 million passengers annually.

“[T]he AAI has decided to make its airports plastic free by banning the use of single-use plastic items on the premises across the country,” a company spokesperson said. “Various steps, including banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutleries, plastic plates, have been undertaken to eliminate the single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side.”

In addition, many local airports will be ditching disposable plastic products in favor of eco-friendly sustainable alternatives. In terminals bio-degradable garbage bags will be placed in garbage bins and plastic bottles will be crushed at machines and collected for recycling.

“Indira Gandhi International Airport has also started the process of not using plastic for grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery,” The Hindustan Times notes. “The Bengaluru International Airport has also been moving in that direction.”

There is more. The AAI is also working on plans to use some of the discarded plastic waste to lay or repair roads around or near airports. “The roads made of plastic waste will be considered as a green initiative,” a senior official at the airport authority said. “The plan is to use the plastic [waste products] in a better way instead of sending them to the dumpyard.”

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