In Rome citizens can get €0.05 off the price of their next journey for every plastic bottle.
First the idea was implemented at three stations around the Eternal City. One could find special machines there that compacted the bottles and added credit to a user’s metro travel application. Starting from July, 350,000 bottles have already been recycled. That proved the idea to be successful. Later it was extended across other stations.
Last summer the situation in Rome was devastating. Rubbish was piled up on the streets. The Recicli + Viaggi recycle and travel initiative was discovered just in time to deal with the capital’s rubbish dilemma. Research shows that Italians drink more bottle water every year than any other European nation. It makes the recycling of empty bottles a major problem.
Rome was not the first to launch the “Paying in Plastic” idea. In Beijing it was implemented in 2014 and in Istanbul plastic bottles help to pay for both tram and subway trips. One can pay for bus journeys with plastic cups and bottles in the Indonesian city of Surabaya. “Reverse vending machines” that issue vouchers for every plastic bottle were installed in the UK and Germany. A new scheme was launched last year in the UK city of Leeds. Now drivers can pay for parking with plastic bottles.
The problem of plastic waste is taken seriously by educational establishments. Now we try to make our kids understand the problem. Already in Pamohi, in the Indian state of Assam, the Akshar Foundation School is asking parents to pay their children’s school fees with plastic waste.
The organizer of World Earth Day declares that we are now at a million plastic bottles per minute. 275 million tons of plastic waste are generated worldwide each year. 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year.
It cannot be more clear, the demand for plastic is growing. We have to manage the harmful consequences for our environment.