Get Metro Tickets In Rome By Just Swapping Plastic Bottles

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If you have just finished a drink and are thinking about ditching your bottle, think again. This container can go towards paying your metro fare in Rome. Citizens can get an off of €0.05, from the price of their next journey for every bottle they manage to recycle.

This particular scheme was tested at 3 different stations in Rome, where machines were used to compress the bottles and add credits to the user’s metro travel app. Approximately 350,000 bottles had been recycled since July, which allowed the initiative to be implemented in other stations till July 2020.

Commuters in Rome can recycle the plastic containers at stations and gain credits. These credits can then be used to purchase metro or bus tickets through the TabNet and MyCicero applications. This will be in place for a year at Cipro (A Line), S. Giovanni (C Line), and Piramide (B Line). 

For every plastic bottle you recycle, you will get a credit of 5 cents. If you can manage to recycle 30 bottles, you will get a free €1.50 ticket.

Read: Fruit Shells Seen As An Alternative To Plastic?

Rome had observed a waste emergency, this summer, when they saw rubbish being piled up of the beautiful streets under the sun. A landfill site had been shut down along with two other treatment plants in the city. The waste contractors stated that there was no place to ditch half of the city’s rubbish.


Recicli+Viaggi (Recycle and travel) initiative had arrived at the perfect time, then. Italians are estimated to drink more bottled water than other European nations (around 188L per person) which made the recycling process a major issue.

How The People In Rome Reacted To This Initiative

Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, hailed the initiative. The capital was the first city in Europe to promote such an eco-friendly scheme.

ATAC President Paolo Simioni said on Wednesday that “in a period in which cryptocurrency is talked about, we have plastic currency. Substantially, it’s a system in which one recycles, we build customer loyalty, and citizens’ virtuous behavior is rewarded.”

Rome: Pay Your Fare In Plastic


Rome is the latest city that offered travel credits for recycling bottles. Beijing had launched a similar scheme in 2014 and people in Istanbul could use these plastic bottles to pay for both their subway and tram trips.

Surabaya, in Indonesia, sees buses accept cups made out of plastic and bottles as payments. A 2-hour ride on the bus would cost around 10 plastic cups or 5 plastic bottles.

Germany and the UK have installed “reverse vending machines” which can issue vouchers for each plastic bottle one deposits. The rewards range from £0.05 to loyalty points that can be claimed at checkout.

Read: Scientists Make The First Plant Oil Plastic In The World, Bypassing Fossil Fuel

The most successful example of such a scheme in Europe is in Norway. It has an impressive 97% rate of recycling plastic bottles.


Leeds, a city in the UK, had launched an initiative where drivers could pay their parking charges with plastic bottles. Every bottle was worth £0.20. If you can manage to fit enough bottles into your car, you can pay for an entire day’s parking with just plastic.

Pamohi, a city in Assam, saw the Akshar Foundation School tackle similar problems by asking the parents to pay their children’s tuition fees with plastic.

We buy around 1 million plastic bottles in just a minute, all over the world, as reported by the organizers of World Earth Day. The bottles that were discarded made up part of the 275 million tonnes of plastic wastes generated every year by the world.

In a report examining the plastic packaging industry, the World Economic Forum noted that 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans every year while warning the material could take up to 500 years to degrade.

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