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Discover Rome by recycling your bottles

Citizens of Rome can now get a discount on public transport by recycling plastic bottles. Over 11 000 used bottles have been recycled in the last two weeks.

People will receive a credit of five cents for each plastic bottle recycled, meaning if they recycle 30 bottles they’ll receive a standard bus or metro ticket worth EUR 1.50. Bottles can be any size from 0.25cl to 2 litres. Once the bottles are pushed through the vending machine to be crushed and sorted, citizens can claim their discount online.

The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, launched the Ricicli+Viaggi (recycle and travel) scheme at the end of last month. Rome’s transport network Atac is behind the recycling initiative. ‘We talk a lot about crypto currency, and now we have plastic currency,’ laughs Paolo Simoni, president of Atac.

A total of three reverse vending machines have been installed at three different stations in Rome. They will be in operation for a 12-month test-phase. If the bottle recycling project is a success, authorities will expand the scheme to other stations and public hotspots.

What inspired the campaign was the significant build-up of waste in the eternal city’s public areas. The fact is that Italians drink more bottled water than any other European nation; they consume 188 litres per person every year. This generates a lot of bottle waste, on top of which tourists are known to dispose of packaging and other trash outside.

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