The Indian Railways has been slowly but steadily adopting green methods in a bid to be more eco-friendly. Recently they have adopted bio-toilets and have introduced eco-friendly linen in the Rajdhani trains.
Now they plan to replace plastic plates and bringing about plates made of ‘bagasse’, for passengers on premium trains.
Bagasse is the fibre that is left over after extracting sugarcane juice, pressed in a high-heat high-pressure process. A plate made of bagasse takes around a month or two to compost and provides natural ingredients back to the environment. Not only that, but the products are also heat-resistant, can hold liquids well, and are grease and cut-resistant.
These biodegradable plates can be disposed of safely, and passengers will be privy to fresh plates each time, with the Railways preventing the earlier hassle of cleaning the plates repeatedly. These bagasse containers are stronger and microwave-friendly too.
The pilot project of the scheme was implemented on the Sealdah Rajdhani, where passengers ate off the fibre-plates for the first time.
The cost of these plates would be higher than that of plastic–Rs 4 to Rs 8 instead of Rs 1 to Rs 5. However, the environmental benefits far outweigh the cost. Indian Railways has decided to see the bigger picture.