The country’s first private speed train, the Tejas Express provided the passengers onboard the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express with biodegradable packaged drinking water bottles. The biodegradable bottles were being manufactured by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) at its Mumbai bottling plant on a trial basis.
IRCTC’s big leap in curbing the use of #SingleUsePlastic - successfully tests biodegradable packaging for #RailNeer. Supply commences on a pilot basis on the newly introduced LJN-NDLS-LJN #TejasExpress. #IRCTCSaysNoToPlastic #IRCTCForEnvironment pic.twitter.com/aqKKIluVHM— IRCTC (@IRCTCofficial) October 4, 2019
Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel, on October 2, announced a ban on single-use plastic items in and around historical monuments. While speaking at the tourism fair ‘Paryatan Parv’ at Rajpath, he said, single-use plastic will not be allowed inside and within 100 meters of monuments. The minister did not speak about when the ban would come into force. However, according to Tourism Ministry officials, the ban would cover all ASI-protected monuments. They also said that the work of finding alternatives to single-use plastic items like water bottles and cutlery is ongoing. According to them, there might be installations of water dispensers and paper cup vending machines inside the monument premises. However, it was also added that the real challenge is to enforce the ban outside the monuments as the hawkers selling snacks and beverages use single-use plastic.
The Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) is considering four key regulatory measures to reduce the usage of plastic in food packaging. Firstly, the FSSAI is exploring the feasibility of restricting small packs of commodities such as water bottles, shampoo, sauce, pickles, etc. Secondly, they are trying to remove the restrictions on the usage of non-transparent bottles for drinking water thereby allowing businesses to explore the possibilities of using alternatives other than the PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, which are currently being used. Thirdly, they are exploring the possibility of removing the ban on the usage of recycled plastic in food packaging and fourthly, the FSSAI is reviewing the limits of heavy metals in PET bottles and the limits of specific migration limits of Antimony and DEHP (Diethylhexyl- Phthalate).