Keeping a check on production and consumption of plastic is the need of the hour. Countries, organisations, and authorities throughout the world are taking measures for the same goal. Delhi’s IGI airport is the latest to follow. It becomes the first airport in India to be free of single-use plastic. By Kumar Shree

GMR, the company which operates the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) recently declared a ‘single-use plastic free’ status for the airport. In 2019, it was the first Indian airport to commit towards the goal. The airport’s first step towards the cause, however, came forth in September 2018. Notably, the theme for that year’s Environment Day was ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.

The Confederation of Indian Industry – ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CII-ITC CESD) has certified DIAL for the same. The company helps business communities in achieving sustainability. The airport introduced sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives during these two years, and worked towards checking its plastic waste generation. That helped the airport earn its new tag.

“Our objective to make Delhi Airport free from single-use plastic is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of abolishing all single-use plastic from India by 2022. DIAL is committed to preserve the environment and do its bit,” said DIAL Chief Executive Officer Videh Kumar Jaipuriar.

A few items, however, are exempt. These include sealed PET bottles, security tamper-evident bags, compostable plastic bags, and packaged materials meant for sale at the airport.

Currently the airport at Delhi is leading in terms of cargo and passenger carriage. It handles an annual traffic of around 68.5 million passengers, and was the 12th busiest airport in the world in 2019. Implementing such a humongous step at an airport of this scale deserves all the applause. While Delhi has done it, we hope others follow suit soon too.

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