MUMBAI: GVK Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) managing the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has announced that the airport is now 100% single-use plastic free.
MIAL has implemented a 360-degree plastic ban as per the guidelines provided by the Government of India, according to a release.
Since the Government of Maharashtra’s statewide prohibition on single-use plastic in July 2018, the airport has collaborated with all its stakeholders including the Airlines, Concessionaires, F&B and Retail outlets, Duty-free, aircraft ground handlers and the public and private offices, respectively on the elimination of plastic across both its terminals.
What MIAL is doing
The airport adopted various recycling initiatives to drastically reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment. All the waste generated from airport operations is being collected, segregated at source, stored and disposed as per the regulatory requirements. Techniques such as waste minimization, segregation at source, improved operational efficiency, recycling and reuse are practiced by MIAL proactively. The initiatives such as PET bottle recycling machines – Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) at both terminals, Eco bins for electronic waste and an in-house Organic Waste Composting are implemented at CSMIA.
Adhering to the guidelines The Maharashtra Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 2006 provided by the Government of Maharashtra, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport has banned all single-use plastic items including disposable cutlery made up of Thermocol (polystyrene or plastic), PET/PETE bottles (less than 200 ml), plastic bags (with/without handle), disposable dish/bowl for food packaging, straws, thermocol items and bubble wraps.
In order to address the void of eliminating the use of plastic in day-to-day operations at the airport for the passengers as well as the employees, MIAL since over a year has slowly but surely introduced and encouraged the use of various environment friendly alternatives. These replacements include the use of steel straws at the GVK lounge, cutlery and other items made up of corn starch and other biodegradable materials, cloth bags instead of plastic bags, among others. Similarly, in a conscious effort, the executives at the F&B outlets at CSMIA are proactively educating the passengers about the avoidability of paper straw usage to minimize the impact of paper usage that is indirectly affecting the environment at large.
Additionally, providing a multifaced approach to the single-use plastic ban at CSMIA, the airport has also communicated the logistical changes about the ban to all airline operators operating at CSMIA, thereby helping them modify their plastic usage starting, October 2, 2019.
Speaking about this milestone at the Mumbai International Airport, MIAL Spokesperson said, “At GVK MIAL we take pride in our values on our Integrity, Customer focus and Passion for excellence, all this by keeping sustainability as our central goal. As a global airport, over the years we have implemented various path-breaking green initiatives be it with regards to carbon neutrality, utilization of solar energy, recycling waste and generating organic compost, releasing a sustainability report as per the GRI standards, among many such initiatives. Having already initiated the ban in 2018, our main aim was to provide the passengers with alternatives that do not affect their pleasant experience at CSMIA while, at the same time eliminate the use of single use plastic across all airport operations along with our stakeholders. Today, we are proud of having achieved our goal right in time with the PMO’s initiative for the entire nation and shall continue our endeavour in providing sustainable and world-class services to our patrons.”