Beijing has introduced a new recycling program that allows commuters to pay for a subway ride with a plastic bottle.

Photo Credit: Incom Recycle

Photo Credit: Incom Recycle

Beijing has placed reverse vending machines around the city where commuters can trade in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles for a commuter pass or mobile phone credit. Users receive between 5 fen and 1 yuan (about 16 cents) for each PET bottle donated, depending on the weight. 

Triple Pundit reports that the system was first introduced in 2012 by Incom Recycling with 10 machines. They have expanded to 34 machines around the city and have plans to eventually install up to 3,000 reverse vending machines. 

The only thing that might get in Incom Recycling's way is the fact that Beijing doesn't have a recycling problem, especially when it comes to PET bottles. In fact, the city has a 90 percent recycling rate for PET bottles, which is higher than most cities. This is largely because migrant workers sift through city waste to collect plastic bottles for recycling. 

Despite this, Incom has plans to move way from informal collectors and use their machines to earn additional revenue through advertisements. 

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