Innovations That Matter

Rome's program is amongst the first of its kind in Europe | Photo source Daniele Brundu - Flickr

Rome provides public transport tokens in exchange for plastic bottles

Mobility & Transport

The vending machines will exchange each plastic bottle for €0.05 in credit, making a €1.50 journey worth 30 bottles

Spotted: According to the United Nations Environment Assembly, 4.8 to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year. However, awareness of these figures has, so far, not proven sufficient to mobilize adequate disposal of plastic. What incentive is needed? This is the question that Rome hopes to answer by providing metro rides in exchange for plastic waste

The plastic-for-credits scheme is a one year trial that exchanges plastic waste for credit towards metro and bus rides in Rome. The service will be available at all three major stations: Cipro on the A line, Piramide on the B line, and S. Giovanni on the C line.

Commuters will receive €0.05 for each plastic bottle donated. Thirty bottles are needed to cover a single-ticket, which is €1.50. The Government hopes that the initiative will also reduce Rome’s rubbish congestion in addition to preventing people from travelling without a ticket.

While the program is amongst the first in Europe, a similar scheme was spotted in Surabaya, Indonesia last year — with ten plastic cups or five plastic bottles equating to a free two-hour bus ticket.



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