Air India Airbus A320 passenger aircraft.
An Air India Airbus A320 passenger aircraft.Reuters

In a bid to become more eco-friendly, Air India will be banning single-use plastic on its services from October 2. The proposal was revealed on Thursday, August 29, by the national airline's CMD Ashwani Lohani during a media workshop for aviation correspondents in New Delhi.

"We are going to completely ban the use of plastic in Alliance Air & Air India Express from October 2," Lohani was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The initiative to ban single-use plastic was first brought about in India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said that single-use plastic in India should come to an end. He had made these comments during his Independence Day speech on August 15.

In a brochure given to those who attended the workshop, there was a list of all the steps the airline will be taking to ban plastic from their service.

The banana chips and sandwiches, which were earlier wrapped in plastic will now be served in butter paper pouches. Muffins will be served in place of cake slices. Plastic tumblers will take the place of plastic ones and teacups will be replaced with paper cups, which the brochure emphasises is sturdy.

For meal services, which customers pay in advance, the cutlery will be made out of eco-friendly birch. In addition to this, the meal for the crew will be in lightweight steel cutlery.

The ban will be effective from October 2, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. This comes after BigBasket was pulled up last week for using cling film, which generates non-recyclable waste, in its deliveries. A customer had taken to social media to write about it.

Responding to this, BBMP Additional Commissioner Randeep Dev in Bengaluru said in a tweet, "Commencing Sept 1st, 2019 @bigbasket_com would be penalised substantially if they continue using cling film. Please note that the new SWM Byelaws allow #BBMP to close down store and suspend/cancel trade license if such single-use plastics incl cling film are being used."

"We have stopped using cling film for packing coconuts starting Tuesday. We are absolutely committed to being ecologically sensitive and are using this feedback to review the entire gamut of packing materials we use," TN Hari, Head, Human Resources, BigBasket, was quoted as saying by News18.

He added, "We hardly use any plastic packing. For all fruits and vegetables, we use paper, for green leafy vegetables we use a biodegradable material made of starch. The feedback we have is that since it looks like plastic, it gets treated as plastic in segregation at the consumer end and this creates a problem with recycling plastic. So we are evaluating options for packing green leafy vegetables."