Air India is set to impose a ban on single use plastic products like bags, cups and straws on all its flights from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
As the national carrier aims to eliminate plastic usage as much as possible, Air India express and Alliance Air would go plastic free immediately, however, some of the flights of Air India will still continue to use the plastic products due to operational issues.
“We have banned the use of plastic completely in some of the flights,” said Ashwani Lohani, chairman and managing director of Air India.
Banana chips and sandwiches are presently packed in a plastic pouch. Now, these will packed in butter paper pouch. The cake slices served in snacks box will be replaced with muffins to avoid the plastic wrapping.
“For special meals ordered by the passengers in advance, we will use eco-friendly wood cutlery. The plastic cutlery used by crew members will be replaced with light weight steel cutlery. Plastic tumblers will be replaced with paper tumblers. Additionally, the plastic tea cups will be replaced with sturdy paper cups,” said an Air India spokesperson.
The 200ml plastic bottle provided to the passengers will be replaced with glass bottles on all routes except two, which are multi leg flights.
Following the roadmap of going plastic free, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) too has decided to do away with plastic usage by the end of 2019. Delhi airport has started the process of not using plastic for grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery. The Bengaluru International Airport has also been moving in the similar direction.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has directed the airport directors to ensure that plastic is not used at airports anymore.
Single-use plastics, often referred to as disposable plastics, are commonly used in packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.
Other private airlines like Vistara and IndiGo have also taken initiatives to reduce the use of plastic.