Indian Railways now using compostable tableware

New Delhi: Indian Railways is using tableware that is compostable as part of its drive to go green.

Passengers are being served meals in compostable plates and bowls instead of the polymer ones.
Indian Railways has tied up with Yash Papers, India’s largest manufacturer of compostable paper for this project. The latter has introduced backyard compostable tableware in various Shatabadi, Duronto and Rajdhani trains under the CHUK brand.

Initially, the pilot project has been introduced in 32 premier trains by the Railway Ministry, which is expected to be scaled up to other trains, post successful completion of the pilot project.

Yash Papers MD and Strategy Head Ved Krishna said, “We have been working with railways for the last four months, trying to build products as per their needs. It gives us immense pleasure to be on board with Indian railways for compostable tableware products. We are going to sign an order of INR 5 crores for the next six months. . We will supply around 15 lakh tableware pieces per month for the coming six months. We can also see the commitment from Indian government for the same. We are confident for the success of the pilot project and subsequent orders.”

CHUK aims to disrupt the disposable tableware industry, which is dominated by styrofoam and plastic. While Styrofoam tableware products are white due to chemical treatment, CHUK’s tableware products are brown coloured as they are completely chemical free. Sugarcane fiber makes the tableware products lightweight, flexible, microwavable and leak proof; the design has been conceptualized keeping in mind the Indian market.

“We aimed at creating modular designs which, along with being bio-degradable, are very consumer friendly. The tableware products have been designed keeping in mind the taste of Indian food eating habits and patterns. These plates can be disposed off after every single use and they will get decomposed within 60-90 days of being disposed. This will also prevent railways from the hassles of cleaning plates every time food is served,” added Krishna.

The products of CHUK are like lego pieces which can fit into any form of tableware product. CHUK has also worked on a rapid development cycle for products based on 3D printing and quick tooling.

Yash Papers has invested Rs 65 crores in setting up of its plant, which has a state of the art facility that includes a production innovation centre. The plant based out of Faizabad (UP) currently has a production capacity of 8 lakh units per day. The plant which manufactures the tableware products also generates electricity using rice husk. (ANI)