Railways are the second fastest mode of transport. It is also the most dependable mode of transport as people can sit comfortably in trains during weather conditions like fogs, rains, etc. It offers a wide range of facilities compared to other means of transport. It is also the safest mode of transport as the chances of accidents occur to a lesser extent as compared to the other modes of transport.
Indian Railways manages the fourth-largest railway network in the world. With fixed routes and schedules, the service is well organized as compared to the other modes of transport. You don’t have to sit for long hours when you have enough space to stretch your legs and sleep for longer hours, you don’t have to get stuck in the traffic jam when the transport is quicker, you don’t have to pay more when Railway transport is economical.
There are many people who travel in trains in India. From drinking tea to having a crunch on the meal, every passenger uses plastic. It is so obvious that with increased passengers, there is also an excessive use of plastics as well. Not many people would throw the wastes into the dustbins provided in trains, instead they find an easier way of throwing the scrap outside the window.
This infamous trend has been continuing for more than 2 or 3 decades and it’s disheartening to see the place get affected by land pollution. In an attempt to cut down on the use of plastic, Railways have come up with a brilliant idea of replacing Polymer Plates with Eco-Friendly Ones on Premium Trains.
The Indian Railways has been doing everything to satisfy the passengers. Their aim is now slowly drifting towards setting green goals so that it is more eco-friendly. Last year, they introduced various strategies that received a positive response from people. They introduced eco-friendly linen (cloth made from fibres) in the Rajdhani trains. Now this time, they are taking steps to get rid of plastic plates by introducing plates made of ‘bagasse’ for passengers on premium trains.
Bagasse is nothing but a fibre which is left over after extracting sugarcane juice when pressed in an extreme heat and pressure process. The plate made of bagasse takes just around a month or two to decompose and provides natural ingredients back to the environment.
On the contrary, plastic plates pollute the environment as it takes over 500 years to decompose. Bagasse products offer a lot of advantages as they are heat-resistant, can hold liquids well, and are grease and cut-resistant as well. According to a senior official, these biodegradable plates can be disposed of safely and passengers will be given fresh plates each time.
This was carried out for the first time on Sealdah Rajdhani express where the passengers ate off the fibre-plates. As the fibre-plates offer advantages over plastics, it costs higher than that of plastic–Rs 4 to Rs 8 instead of Rs 1 to Rs 5. The senior official also went on to add saying that the Railways will extend the strategies to all trains in which meals are served.
“This will be biodegradable plates that can be disposed of safely. While on one hand, we go green, we are also ensuring that passengers get fresh plates every time. There is no added issue of cleaning and washing the plates or complaints over dirty plates,” a senior official said.
“We will have the advantage of economies of scale. Also, it will be a great opportunity for the companies to showcase their wares which is still a new product,” the officials said.