Indonesia hops aboard plastic cleanup with bus bottle scheme

Surabaya’s recycling incentive scheme allows trash to be traded for tickets

The Big Zero report

The Indonesian city of Surabaya is now offering free bus rides in exchange for handing in used plastic bottles and cups.

The country’s second-largest city has launched the recycling incentive scheme, which allows customers to drop off plastic bottles and cups at terminals in exchange for tickets or use the plastic waste to directly pay for their fare.

Handing in around five bottles or 10 cups can pay for a two-hour bus ride – the plastic is then sold to recycling companies, with earnings spent on improving the service and developing green spaces in the city.

Surabaya, which currently produces around 400 tonnes of plastic waste every day, aims to totally banish the problem by 2020.

The city municipality suggests one bus can collect around 7.5 tonnes of rubbish each month.

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