Milk ATMs in Odisha have been creating a buzz in the market, from the time they been installed in the localities. With the government recently proposing a noble initiative of banning single-use plastic, private companies and government authorities have started setting up these public milk dispensers which is ready to help the environment get rid of plastic sachets.
One such milk vending machine has been planted in the Ganjam District of Berhampur, with the intention of discouraging people from purchasing milk pouches. District Collector Amruta Kulange directed the project, which had been taken up by Tata Steel Limited and the Greater Ganjam Gajapati Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union.
At these milk ATMs, an individual, according to their requirement can withdraw milk in their personal containers through insertion of a coin.
As a result of which, buyers will have to bring containers from their respective homes, which in return would ensure that the need for a plastic pouch has been terminated with.
Adhering to the initiative, Kulange said "Our administration was spreading awareness about the harmful effects of one-time disposable plastic items when people questioned the use of milk pouches. After some research, we decided to install milk ATMs to reduce plastic pouch waste generation."
Reports of The Better India states that the authorities have collaborated with 7,200 dairy farmers, to make this vision possible. Each of the milk vending machines has a sustaining capacity of 500 litre, and one customer can buy a maximum of 1 litre of milk at one time for Rs 40. The minimum amount that an individual has to pay is Rs 10 for 250 ml of milk.
The milk ATM costs Rs 6 lakh and was funded by the Tata group as a part of their CSR initiative in July. It is situated near Gate Bazar in Berhampur and dispenses 250 litres of fortified milk every day.
Primarily, Maharashtra was the first state that took preventive measures to curb the issue of plastic milk pouches. A buyback policy exists for milk pouches and PET bottles. Customers are charged extra 50 paise if they buy a milk pouch and Rs 1 more for buying milk in a plastic bottle. This amount is again returned if they give back the plastic containers to the retailer whom they purchased the milk from.
Odisha has been planning to come up with another milk ATM in MCKG Medical College and Hospital, in order to help patients and visitors get an access to this absolutely amazing service.