The Hon’ble PM of India during his Independence Day speech had urged fellow citizens to avoid using plastic bags and rid themselves of the habit of using single-use plastic bags by 2nd October 2019. Proactively acting on the Hon’ble PM’s clarion call and as per the directions issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to beat plastic pollution, 35 AAI Airports namely Agartala, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Calicut, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Goa, Guwahati, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Tiruchirappalli, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada & Visakhapatnam had been declared ‘Single-Use Plastic Free Airport Terminals’ in Phase I.
As part of initiatives towards environment protection, a commitment was made by AAI for making 20 additional AAI Airports as ‘Single-Use Plastic Free Airport Terminals’ within 100 days after the formation of the new Government. Accordingly, on the basis of Third-Party Assessment carried out by the Quality Council of India, 20 more AAI Airports namely Allahabad, Aurangabad, Belgaum, Bhuj, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Gaya, Gorakhpur, Jabalpur, Jamnagar, Jodhpur, Jorhat, Kangra, Khajuraho, Leh, Rajahmundry, Rajkot, Silchar, Surat and Tuticorin in Phase- II have been declared ‘Single-Use Plastic Free Airport Terminals’ on 30th Aug 2019.
Various steps have been undertaken by AAI to eliminate the single-use plastic items at passenger terminals and city side of AAI airports. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutleries, plastic plates etc.
AAI is also enhancing its waste management systems and is promoting the use of eco-friendly sustainable alternatives like use of biodegradable garbage bags in the garbage bins and installation of plastic bottle crushing machine at airports. AAI airports have also started various awareness campaigns for sensitizing all stakeholders specially passengers towards the cause and to drive engagement and cooperation from all of them.
For making environmental conservation an ingrained organisational mission, the Airports Authority of India has formulated an environment Policy which envisages its commitment for reduction of Green House Gases(GHG) and sustainable development by implementing cost-effective carbon mitigation action to conserve the environment and reduce the adverse impact on society, community and ecosystem thus contributing to national sustainable development goals.
As a part of this policy, AAI is conscious and committed to sensitizing all employees and stakeholders to fulfill the environmental obligation by reducing carbon footprint. In ensuring the successful implementation of dissuading the usage of single-use plastic items, AAI has been carrying out internal audits of its airports along with various stakeholders.