Pay for your subway ride by recycling a plastic bottle

Pay for your subway ride by recycling a plastic bottle

Green cities

The city of Beijing has come up with an ingenious idea to encourage people to recycle more. It has installed 34 “reverse” vending machines in subway stations throughout the city. When a passerby inserts an empty plastic bottle, the machine’s sensor scans it to assess the value of the plastic – anywhere from 5 to 15 cents – and spits out a public transportation credit or extra mobile phone minutes. The reward is commensurate with the quality and number of bottles being fed into the machine, although there is also the option for people such as tourists, who don’t need the rewards, to insert bottles anyways.

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