Plastic bottles for bus fares

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The Khaleej Times reports that passengers in the UAE can now exchange plastic bottles for free bus journeys in a bid to encourage public transport use and recycling, in an initiative launched by the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi.

The first phase of the ‘Points for Plastic: the Bus Tariff’ initiative will see a plastics deposit machine installed in Abu Dhabi’s main bus station, so that passengers can exchange empty plastic containers for points which can be used for travel. A single small bottle is worth one point, while larger containers or bottles are worth 2 points. Each point is equal 10 fils, making 10 points the equivalent of 1 Dirnam (approximately 21p).

The points balance can be transferred to the ITC automated payment system, which calculates the fare and deducts it from the cash value stored in the card via the readers installed on buses. The city is working with public and private sector partners to launch an integrated bottle return scheme in other key locations.