>> A novel way to combat plastic waste, Indonesia’s second largest city is encouraging residents to recycle by giving free bus rides in exchange for used plastic bottles. In Surabaya, commuters can choose to drop off plastic bottles at terminals or directly pay their fare with them. A two hour bus ticket costs ten plastic cups or up to five plastic bottles.
The city hopes the scheme will help it meet an ambitious target of becoming plastic-free by 2020. City data shows that 15% of Surabaya's daily waste is plastic, that's nearly 400 tons. A single bus can collect roughly 7.5 tons in a month. After collection, labels and bottle caps are taken off and the waste is auctioned off to recycling companies.
The money made then goes towards running the bus operations and funding green spaces in the city. Studies show that Indonesia, an archipelago of thousands of islands, is thought to be the world's second largest contributor of plastic pollution in oceans after China.