In a bid to curb the usage of plastic packing, Ganjam District in Odisha has come up with Milk ATMs which enable a user to put in money and procure milk in their containers.
With growing environmental concerns over the plastic milk packets, the initiative came out as a process to completely eliminate the use of plastic packets. The project provides a single solution to two correlated problems – plastic waste disposal and employment for small scale milk producers.
— Collector & District Magistrate, Ganjam (@Ganjam_Admin) July 4, 2019
In an interview, Ganjam District Collector, Amruta Kulange said, “The main objective was to encourage the milk production and to check the one-time usage of plastic packets. The main benefit is that people easily procure milk as per their budget, which means they can pay Rs 5 or Rs 10 and get milk of that amount. So we have decided to install three more such milk vending machines at MKCG Hospital, Hinjilicut and Chhatrapur now.”
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Sri. Kanhu Charan Panda, Public Information Officer for Greater Ganjam Gajapati Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd, said: “The administration collaborated with about 7,200 dairy farmers through the milk cooperative to supply milk to the ATM which has a capacity of 500 litres and is sold at Rs 40 per litre.”
“The initiative was the brainchild of the District Collector Amruta Kulange in collaboration with the Greater Ganjam Gajapati Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union and Tata Steel Ltd,” Panda added.
The ATM is financed by Tata group using their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds and started a month ago near Gate Bazar in Berhampur, Odisha.
“Such Milk ATMs will be opened at different hospitals (like MKCG Medical College and Hospital and City Hospital) and other public places. Apart from becoming an easy and accessible source of nutrition for everyone, the milk ATMs would help us get rid of the huge usage of plastics in packaging and storage of milk products,” Kulange added.
Girish Prajapati, a daily-wage labourer, said that the ATM helps him. “I usually work at odd hours, either early morning or late in the night when the shops are shut. The best part is that I do not have to buy the entire milk packet. Two hundred fifty ml for Rs 10 at any time of the day is a great deal for me,” he said.
“The district administration will gradually open more milk ATMs in MKCG Medical College and Hospital for patients and visitors. Other ATMs will be installed in nine more places including public places,” Public Information Officer Panda told The Logical Indian.