Non-biodegradable plastic waste is extremely harmful to the environment. There are no two ways about the fact that plastic pollution is a very real threat and needs to be curbed as soon as possible. In India, the government, as well as individuals, are doing their bit in this regard. Lucknow and Jamshedpur have roads constructed out of it, a Guwahati school accepts it as fees, a cafe in Chhattisgarh offers a full meal in exchange for bringing in 1 kg of plastic waste and an engineer from Hyderabad has also found a way to turn plastic into fuel!
This is an amazing start but we still have a long way to go. Which is why we can take inspiration from other countries and their unique methods to reduce this menace.
The Indonesian city of Surabaya has launched a trash swap programme on 20 of its public buses. Each bus has recycling bins and the ticket officers accept plastic waste as bus fare. How cool is that?
Passengers can swap trash for travel tickets on Indonesia's 'plastic bus'.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 9, 2019
Local residents are applauding this eco-friendly move which enables them to enjoy an hour-long bus ride by giving three large bottles, five medium bottles or 10 plastic cups for a ticket. NDTV quoted one of them (48-year-old Fransiska Nugrahepi) saying,
“This is a very smart solution. It’s free and instead of throwing away bottles people now collect them and bring them here.”
A transport official named Franki Yuanus believes that the scheme will induce people to opt for public transport more often. “There has been a good response from the public. Paying with plastic is one of the things that has made people enthusiastic because up until now plastic waste was just seen as useless.”
Approximately six tons of trash is collected from commuters per month and from there it is auctioned to recycling companies. What a brilliant idea to ensure that plastic waste does not end up in landfills or pollute our oceans, don’t you think?