South Central Railways has joined the list of government agencies that are fighting plastic pollution. In a bid to make recycling plastic bottles easier, the Railways has installed machines for crushing and recycling plastic bottles at select stations in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The machines have been placed at Kachiguda, Secunderabad and Nizamabad stations in Hyderabad and Vijayawada station. Each crusher is roughly as big as a refrigerator and has a capacity to crush and store around 5,000 bottles per day. The crushed bottles come out as fine plastic pieces, ready to be sold as scrap in the market or to be reused to make bags and T-shirts.
"The aim to install these machines is to protect the environment. If any passenger wants to throw the plastic water bottle they can put into this machine, which will crush the water bottle," Chief Public Relations Officer of South Central Railways, Uma Shankar told ANI.
Not only are initiatives being taken to prevent littering, but measures are being implemented to discourage the use of plastic itself. Earlier this month, the Telangana government instructed municipal bodies across the state to stop the usage of plastic.
Moreover, guidelines were issued to discontinue the usage of single-use plastic items, like plastic and tetra bottles, single-use straws, plastic/styrofoam tea cups/containers, plastic below 50 microns or plastic coated items and any other forms of single-use /banned plastic.
Recently the Maharashtra government introduced an all-out ban on single-use plastics, with hefty fines for offenders. Himachal Pradesh also banned the use of plastic bottles smaller than 1L at all government functions, while the CM launched a scheme to get school children to use metal bottles instead of plastic ones.
The theme for World Environment Day in 2018 was plastic pollution, a serious issue after environmental organisations called on governments to tackle the problem before it was too late. As a result, the G7 signed an anti-plastic pact in their meeting in Canada.
[With inputs from ANI]