Paying for train journeys with plastic bottles in Beijing

Paying with plastic bottles

Beijing is taking a fresh approach to recycling by giving free train journeys and mobile phone top-ups to consumers in exchange for used plastic bottles. Machines in 34 locations take bottle deposits and calculate their worth, issuing a credit to the person’s mobile account or transit pass. Sensors scan the bottle’s weight and composition, and then prompt users to select an option.

“While this initiative may need to be significantly scaled to have a real impact, offering services in exchange for plastic bottles could play an important role in raising awareness of recycling and reinforcing the idea of waste as a commodity,” says MBA’s CEO, Nigel Hunton.

So will Beijing residents soon be using plastic bottles in place of cash to pay for their train commute? Watch this space!…