June 9, 2018
With the onset of World Environment Day 2018 celebrations, Indian Railways’ catering arm, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) took a major step in its commitment towards preserving the environment.
IRCTC launched its first trial run of eco-friendly food packaging on 8 select Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains from New Delhi. Passengers on these trains would be served meals on eco-friendly disposable plates instead of the polymer ones. Railway is replacing the polymer wares with bagasse-based ones. Bagasse is a fibrous residue left after the juice is extracted from sugar cane. This substance will be used to make disposable cutlery and containers for passengers.
Moreover, provisions to collect the used packaging will be made so that they can be processed for disposal through composting to ensure environmental sustainability.
After the initial trial runs, IRCTC may introduce the bagasse-based packaging as a viable alternative of the non-biodegradable material currently in use on all Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duranto trains. Additionally, IRCTC has also proposed the usage of packaged disposable plates instead of plastic trays to maintain hygiene standards across all trains.