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Commuters in Rome can get free Metro travel in exchange for recycling plastic bottles under an environmental initiative.

More than 350,000 bottles have been recycled so far in special machines set up in three stations across the city.

The scheme, which was launched in July, will be expanded across the Metro network and run until July 2020, according to reports.

Recycle to travel

Plastic bottles can be used to buy travel time – each bottle is equivalent to a €0.05 credit. Commuters need to insert these into the machines.

They also must download an app, which registers how much travel time they have accrued. Station turnstiles can read the app, eliminating the need for paper tickets. 

Involving people

According to Reuters, Rome has a ‘chronic trash collection problem’ and ‘recycling is patchy and inefficient’.

As a result, residents have welcomed the scheme, with local Claudio Perelli telling the outlet: “If you use money to involve people (in recycling), even those who have no civic sense will recycle.”