Train trash

Recently I took a trip from Bengaluru to Delhi by train. It was a wonderful experience, except for all of the trash. Travelling by train, not unlike flying in an aeroplane, means producing a large quantity of trash for many reasons, especially because of all the food and drinks served and consumed along the way.

The photos above show the variety of materials used, not all of which are plastic, which is good. The problem is that all this food waste gets put into the same bin and thus cannot be recycled as it’s not rinsed or segregated. But there are items that are obviously reused, like the hot water pitcher used for making tea as well as a stainless steel spoon. So it makes me wonder if this amount of disposable material can’t be reduced somehow. Stainless steel tumblers for tea, for example, would be a good start.

There were other items that seemed a bit superfluous–like the paper bags that clean sheets and towels are handed out in.

There was also, not surprisingly, a large amount of trash littering the train tacks and people who were wandering along the tracks searching for recyclable items they could sell to scrap dealers.

I couldn’t help but think about the difference between this full service Rajdhani Express train and other trains where no food or water is served. There people bring their own thermoses and tiffins with meals. Although there are still plastic bags that abound carrying the various snacks and such. And

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