Innovative Pricing Turns Plastic Into Transit

It’s a different way to pay with plastic — bottles instead of credit cards. Cities like Beijing, Istanbul, Sydney, and Surabaya let you pay public transit fares with recyclable plastic. Innovative transit pricing is one way that public and social sector marketers achieve multiple goals at once.

The idea is pretty simple. Insert recyclable plastic bottles into a fare machine and get credit to use towards transit fares. This system assigns real value to recycling. That value provides an incentive for people to reduce their waste stream, their carbon footprint, and urban congestion.

Some of the cities limit recycling payment to just bus fares. According to this Facebook video from the World Economic Forum, Istanbul puts the recycling credit on your Metro card, which is good for all forms of public transit throughout Europe’s largest city by area.

Sydney uses “reverse vending machines” to give recyclers rewards that can be used outside of bus fare, like for movie tickets.

As I wrote in a previous post, most plastic pollution in the Pacific Oceans comes from just a few rivers in Asia. Using innovative transit pricing to turn waste plastic into value in large Asian cities like Beijing, Sydney and Surabaya helps divert waste from polluting our oceans.

Hope for Preventing Plastic Pollution In Our Oceans

A recent World Economic Forum article stated that 90 percent of plastic pollution in the ocean comes from just ten rivers. This statistics makes me incredibly hopeful about preventing plastic pollution and cleaning up our oceans.

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Urban Trees–And The Rest Of Nature–Are Critical Public Infrastructure

urban trees are important infrastructure

Urbanization continues, but urban can’t mean completely paved and mechanized. For protection, sustainability, and happiness, we must align our cities with the natural systems where we build. We need to be consciously designing, funding, and distributing nature in our cities. Urban trees, and nature more broadly, need to be treated as critical infrastructure for cities.

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Which Companies Are Digitizing Government?

digitizing government

Consultants at McKinsey estimate that countries globally can save $1 trillion annually by digitizing government. Yes, Trillion-With-A-T. Those savings could go a long way towards funding needs such as education, health, transportation, and infrastructure. What companies are tapping into this huge opportunity?

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Free Download! Service Design Workshop Materials

Host your own free service design workshop

There’s huge opportunity in improving the design and distribution of government and nonprofit services. This is doubly true for making services more digital. How do you get started? Begin with a service design workshop. Read more and download free workshop materials.

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Designing Healthy Communities Where Low-Income Populations Live Longer

Designing healthy communities brings diverse people together

Research by Raj Chetty of Stanford University shows that designing healthy communities can increase life expectancy, especially for low-income populations. What features can you design into healthy communities for people earning incomes in the bottom quartile?

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