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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...
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