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The Indian Railways has decided to enforce a ban on single-use plastic materials on its premises, including trains, with effect from October 2, 2019.

While directing the authorities to expedite installation of 1,853 plastic water bottle crushing machines at 360 major stations in the first phase, the Railway Board asked Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Development Corporation (IRCTC) to implement return of plastic drinking bottles as part of Extended Producer Responsibility.

General Managers of Zonal Railways and Production Units were told to encourage all railway vendors to avoid use of plastic carry bags. Railway employees were also advised to reduce, reuse and refuse plastic products and to use inexpensive reusable bags to reduce plastic footprint.

A Railway Board communication said that Indian Railways was identified as a “Waste Generator” and had to take adequate preventive measures to follow Plastic Waste Management rules. Accordingly steps should be taken to minimise generation of plastic waste and for its eco-friendly disposal.

Going by the rules, single-use plastics shall not be less than 50 microns, except where the thickness of such plastic sheets impair the functionality of the product.
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