Three airports in Northeast–Agartala, Guwahati and Imphal, have completed a year of being “single-use plastic-free” terminals.
A statement issued by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) on Thursday said according to directions issued by the ministry of environment, forests and climate change, 35 AAI-run airports — Agartala, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Calicut, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Goa, Guwahati, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Jammu, Calcutta, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Tiruchirappalli, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam — were declared “single-use plastic-free airport terminals” in January 2019.
Various steps were undertaken to eliminate single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side of the AAI airports, with 85 airports across India becoming plastic-free zones.
The steps include banning of items like straws, plastic cutlery and plastic plates, among others, and switching over to other packaging alternatives and replacements.
AAI has also enhanced its waste management systems and is promoting the use of eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives progressively like use of bio-degradable garbage bags in bins and installation of plastic bottle-crushing machine at airports.
“Rampant modernisation and commercialisation are leading to exerting our planet and making its devoid of its natural resources. Being an environmentally-conscious public sector enterprise and for underlining its commitment towards its corporate social responsibility, Airports Authority of India taking a pioneering initiative, decided to make its airports plastic-free by banning the use of single-use plastic items at its airports across the country in September 2018,” the statement said.
It said in ensuring the successful implementation of dissuading the usage of single-use plastic items, AAI has been carrying out internal audits of its airports along with stakeholders.
The AAI engaged Quality Council of India to assess/check the implementation of the ban on single-use plastic items at its airports in November 2018.
The AAI has also formulated an environment policy which envisages its commitment for reduction of greenhouse gases and sustainable development by implementing cost-effective carbon mitigation action to conserve the environment and reduce the adverse impact on society, community and ecosystem, thus contributing to national sustainable development goals.