Innovation That Matters

Recycling scheme | Photo source Pixabay

Plastic bottles accepted as public transport payment

Travel & Tourism

This city initiative promotes plastic recycling by offering free public transport in return for plastic waste.

Plastic has become one of the largest concerns for consumers in terms of environmental protection. Researchers have discovered that there is already enough plastic in the world for humans to use without needing to produce more. Finding ways of reusing and recycling is therefore paramount to reducing plastic waste. Now Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, is incorporating plastic reuse into everyday life.

Residents are being encouraged to bring their used plastic bottles for collection in return for free bus travel. They can either drop off plastic cups or bottles at the terminal or bring them directly onto the bus. Ten plastic cups or five plastic bottles equate to a free two hour bus ticket. The city administration hopes that this scheme will therefore bring Surabaya closer to its aim of being plastic waste free by 2020. Currently, 15 percent of the city’s waste is plastic.

On average, a single bus can collect 250kg of plastic everyday. After removing the labels and caps, the bottles then pass in at auction for recycling plants for treatment. All the money raised from the auction also returns directly back to the city as investment into the local transport system.

The scheme launched in April and has proved very popular, with many citizens giving positive feedback and support. Springwise has also seen other means to reduce plastic waste, such as this biodegradable plastic or a filter made from jellyfish mucus.



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