Amsterdam innovates on waste management once again!
A pilot project in Amsterdamâ€™s Noord district is running since early 2015, urging residents to recycle their plastics by rewarding them with discounts at local businesses. Called Wasted and run by the Dutch non-profit Cities Foundation, the aim of this reward system is to turn bags of plastic waste into coupons that can be used in local shops. Once a bag is full, the participants leave it outside their house for someone to collect (the weekly collections are currently managed by the city council, although they donâ€™t normally offer domestic collection of recyclables, providing on-street containers instead). In return, they will receive by post a package full of special green plastic coins, courtesy of Wasted, to redeem at around 65 retailers taking part in the program. This year, Wastedâ€™s organizers also plan to develop a digital currency scheme. Even though up to now, only about 700 households in the district have signed up for the project, roughly 16.5 tons of plastic rubbish have been collected since 2015! On top of this impressive result, 52% of the people that have jointed this initiative said that they have improved their waste disposal habits and 23% said that they managed to use less plastic altogether.
The list of retailers that have joined the project is constantly growing and includes cafes, restaurants, cloths and shoe shops, cinema, reiki treatments and yoga lessons among others. One of them is Al Ponte cafÃ©, overlooking Amsterdam's river IJ, where one coin earns users a free second coffee. Its owner Silvia Salani said that the program not only boosted her standing but also enticed new customers into her shop. Another business is BeekhovenBikes Fietsspecialistâ€™s cycle shop, where three coins earn users 50% off tire repairs.
Source: The Guardian