China often gets a bad rap for its environmental misdemeanours, particularly for its super-polluter coal industry that continues to expand with an average of one new coal mine opening every week. But here’s a breath of fresh air: across China, innovative green business modelling is transforming waste into waste trading. Beijing Metro's 'recycle to ride' scheme monetises PET bottle recycling.
This recycling scheme allows Beijing commuters to stop swiping their transit passes and instead feed PET bottles into the recycling machines along Metro Line 10 to pay their travel fare.
As Transport For London fares rise and rise, could reverse vending machines increase Boris Johnson's popularity? Would Londoners go gung ho for travel pricing that both saves them money and saves the planet?
Here is a video of the recycling reward scheme in action as seen through the eyes of the Chinese state broadcaster, CCTV.
The machines allow commuters to insert a plastic soda or water bottle in exchange for a transit pass or mobile phone credit. The machine has a sensor that is able to scan each bottle and determine how much it's worth.