Indian Railways have announced they will replace plastic cups with clay ones, locally known as ‘Kulhad’, for serving beverages.
Initially they will be introduced on trains and railway stations in the north-western state of Rajasthan, but gradually the state railway company intends to introduce them other regions as well.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a statutory body tasked with promoting traditional textiles and cottage industries would supply these clay cups, said its Chairman V. K. Saxena. He said KVIC could produce and supply 20 million clay cups daily to the Railways.
“This move will not only instil self-confidence amongst the pottery communities in the area, but also help in enhancing the health of the tourists while adding Indian flavour to the travel and tourism industry,” said Saxena.
Indian Railways have been using these cups on an experimental basis at the Varanasi and Rae Bareilly railway stations in northern Uttar Pradesh. The plan to is being introduced in deference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to make India free from single-use plastic.
Indian Railways introduced earthen cups 15 years ago, on the instructions of then-railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, but the practice was abandoned over the years.
Kulhad are clay cups that are fired in a kiln, and are known to be cost-effective and environmental-friendly, since they are biodegradable.