You can now pay with plastic bottles in Istanbul subway

A metro station in Istanbul has revealed new vending machines accepting plastic and aluminium waste as payment

Istanbul has just made a huge move towards greener a waste-free future. In order to encourage its citizen to recycle, the city has placed new vending machine to the İTÜ-Ayazağa metro station.

Alongside cash and cards, the machines accept plastic bottles and aluminium cans as means of payment. By placing the items inside the machine, the commuters can get credits to their Istanbul Card, the city’s transportation pass.

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The initiative has come from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in an attempt to encourage recycling.

“With these smart machines, our waste management department and the municipality’s Smart City Technologies Company [İsbak] will contribute to the protection of the environment,” the municipality said on Twitter early in September.

“We are continuing to pioneer in solid waste management,” it added.

Istanbul’s mayor, Mevlüt Uysal, said that in order to boost recycling and give passengers awards, each card will have the number of recycled items tracked.

Elif Cengiz, a manager for the waste management project called Zero Waste, told the New York Times: “Most households do not automatically recycle because they are unaware of the benefits to the environment, and others are just lazy.”

“These new machines give people a direct incentive to recycle while educating them about the benefits of recycling.”

Items differ in their value. While a 1.5 l plastic bottle is worth 0.09 lira ($0.016 USD), passengers will receive 0.07 Turkish lira ($0.013) for a 330 ml aluminium can. As one single fare costs 2.60 lira, passengers would need at least 28 plastic 1.5 l bottles, or 330 ml cans for a ride. 

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