Travellers in Rome are being offered free metro tickets in exchange for plastic bottles. The scheme is part of the cities plan to become more environmentally friendly. Rome is just one of many cities that enables consumers to recycle plastic bottles in exchange for travel tickets.

Passengers accrue €0.05 credit whenever they deposit a bottle in one of the special bottle recycling machines. Passengers then use the credit for free travel tickets.

Mobile tickets

Passengers wishing to gain credit will need to download a partner app to their mobile phone. The app registers the number of bottles they have fed into the machine and accrues their available credit. Smart turnstiles on the metro can then read the ticket straight from the mobile phone app, eliminating the need for a paper ticket.

A standard ticket single ride metro ticket costs €1.50 so an individual would have to recycle 30 bottles to afford it.

Positive response to free travel by the city

The plastic-for-tickets venture, launched by the Italian capital’s public transport company ATAC, is currently running at three stations. Machines are currently located at the Cipro station on Line A, the Piramide station on Line B and San Giovanni station on Line C. In addition to the metro, the credit can also be used for bus rides.

Queues form as passengers respond positively to recycling machines

Atac, which runs Rome’s public transport network has said, “due to the cities immensely positive response, the plan is to extend is across the whole metro network by July 2020.”