New Delhi: Ministry of Railways has directed all railway units to enforce a ban on single-use plastic material, with less than 50 microns thickness from October 2, to minimize generation of plastic waste and its eco- friendly disposal. This comes after PM Modi’s call for a ban on such plastic.

Just a day ago, Lok Sabha Secretariat prohibited the use of non-reusable plastic water bottles and other plastic items within the Parliament House Complex with immediate effect.

All officers and staff of the Secretariat and other allied agencies working in the Parliament House Complex were asked to comply with the directions. They were also advised to use environment-friendly/ biodegradable bags/materials instead.

“This initiative by the Lok Sabha Secretariat is a step towards the call by the Prime Minister to the nation to make the country free from plastics,” it said.

In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged citizens to abandon the use of single-use plastic and take significant steps to achieve this objective by October 2, when the country celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

“Can we free India from single-use plastic? The time for implementing such an idea has come…Let a significant step be made on October 2,” he had said.

“During my 2014 speech, I spoke about cleanliness. It became a movement in the country and the common man took it up. Today, I have another request. By October 2, on the birth anniversary of dear Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi), I want to urge the citizens to give up single-use plastic,” the PM had said.

“We should take the first important step to bid a goodbye to plastic,” the PM had said. He invited start-ups to recycle plastic and develop technologies for the use of recycled plastic. He also said that the use of paper or cloth bags would generate employment. He called out to shopkeepers to say an emphatic no to customers who ask for polythene bags.