Airports Authority of India bans single-use plastic items

• The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Monday imposed a ban on single-use plastic items at its 129 airports across the country.

• Single-use plastic items are used only once and then thrown in the trash.

• “Various steps have been undertaken to eliminate single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates etc,” the AAI said in a statement.

Key highlights about this green move:

• According to a statement made by AAI, all airports will gradually become plastic-free, and this is the first step that the authority is taking towards achieving that goal.

• The Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Indore, Kolkata, Madurai, Pune, Raipur, Tirupati, Trichy, Vadodara, Varanasi Vijayawada, and Vizag airports have already been declared plastic free. These airports were selected on the basis of the third-party assessment carried out by the Quality Council of India (QCI).

• Issuing a statement about the ban, the authority said, “Various steps have been undertaken to eliminate single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates etc.”

• Elaborating upon the next step in this implementation, AAI said that it has also engaged the QCI to check how the ban has been implemented at 34 airports across the country that handle about 10 lakh passengers every year.

• “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,” stated AAI.

• Going a step ahead in making airports green, the AAI plans to use plastic waste to lay new roads and repair old ones on the city-side of its Chennai airport. The pilot project will be undertaken in either Madurai, Chennai or Thiruvananthapuram.

• The project will be implemented for city-side roads first, and if successful, it will also be extended to run along the compound wall of the airports and later, on taxiways.

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