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In Rome, You Can Now Swap Plastic Water Bottles For Metro Tickets

by: Rosie Dalton | 11 months ago | News

Image: Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi at the launch of the recycling scheme. Image source

Riding public transport is a good way to reduce your environmental footprint and so is proper recycling. Which is why Rome is now trialling a program called ‘Ricicli + Viaggi’ – or ‘Recycle + Travel’. Lonely Planet reports that, at three metro stations around the Italian capital, riders can now deposit plastic bottles in exchange for metro credit.

Compactor recycling machines have been installed at a station on each of the three subway lines: Cipro on the A line, Piramide on the B line, and San Giovanni on the C line. Here, returning a plastic PET bottle between 0.5 litres and 2 litres will add a 5-cent credit to your metro account.

This comes as Italy struggles to cope with its rubbish crisis, as the fourth most-wasteful country in Europe. According to a 2017 report by the consultancy group Expert Market, Italy actually produces enough rubbish to fill the Colosseum over 12 times. So, the 12-month “test-phase” of ‘Ricicli + Viaggi’ will hopefully prove a step towards shifting this waste culture for good.

The initiative follows the introduction of a similar campaign in Istanbul, where reverse vending machines recycle used aluminium cans and plastic bottles in exchange for train fares. And, according to the president of Italy’s transport system Atac, Paolo Simoni, “plastic currency” is now something we need to focus on.

As the Major of Rome, Virginia Raggi puts it: “even small gestures are important.”

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