Rome offers free metro tickets in exchange of plastic bottles

Started in July 2019, the new plastic-recycling initiative is becoming more and more popular in the Italian capital city.

ATAC (the Agency in charge of transportation in the city area), in cooperation with the Rome Council, has launched a new initiative to encourage travellers to recycle plastic bottles.

In exchange of each bottle deposited at specific machines, travellers get a €0.05 credit that can be spent to purchase online tickets. A 100-minutes ticket costs €1.50 and can be purchased by recycling 30 bottles.

Customers need to download a special app onto their mobile phones which will register the number of tickets they have earned on their personal account.

In a city with trash-collection problems and where recycling is pretty inefficient, the initiative has been so popular among residents and tourists that more than 350,000 bottles have been recycled already.

At the moment, the machines are available in 3 metro stations only. However, considering the positive response, ATAC is planning to extend the program to its whole line by July 2020.

Rome is the first capital city in the European Union to launch such a scheme in metro stations and hopefully other cities will follow its example soon. Similar schemes have already been adopted in Beijing and Istanbul.

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