Trash for tickets on Indonesia's 'plastic bus'

phys.org | 7/24/2019 | Staff
jacensolo775jacensolo775 (Posted by) Level 3
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Dozens of people clutching bags full of plastic bottles and disposable cups queue at a busy bus terminal in the Indonesian city of Surabaya—where passengers can swap trash for travel tickets.

The nation is the world's second-biggest marine polluter behind China and has pledged to reduce plastic waste in its waters some 70 percent by 2025 by boosting recycling, raising public awareness, and curbing usage.

Surabaya - Scheme - Hit - City - Passengers

The Surabaya scheme has been a hit in the city of 2.9 million, with nearly 16,000 passengers trading trash for free travel each week, according to authorities.

"This is a very smart solution. It's free and instead of throwing away bottles people now collect them and bring them here," explains 48-year-old resident Fransiska Nugrahepi.

Bus - Ride - Stops - Costs - Bottles

An hour-long bus ride with unlimited stops costs three large bottles, five medium bottles or 10 plastic cups. But they must be cleaned and cannot be squashed.

There is a steady stream of people squeezing past sacks full of recyclables to deposit plastic in four bins behind the small office and claim their tickets.

Franki - Yuanus - Surabaya - Transport - Official

Franki Yuanus, a Surabaya transport official, says the programme aims not only to cut waste but also to tackle traffic congestion by encouraging people to switch to public transit.

"There has been a good response from the public," insists Yuanus, adding: "Paying with plastic is one of the things that has made people enthusiastic because up until now plastic waste was just seen as useless."

Fleet - Buses - Bins - Ticket - Officers

Currently the fleet consists of 20 near-new buses, each with recycling bins and ticket officers...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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