Waste management is a important aspect to any society. With environmental concerns on the rise, countries are trying to encourage their citizens to correctly use and dispose of their items. However, it is hard to force people to do things like recycling. Therefore, countries have developed some innovative ways to get their citizens to properly dispose of their waste.
Amsterdam – Green Coin Initiative
Amsterdam is already leading the way in green living. The country already has impressively high recycling rates. However, the government knew they could do better. Through this initiative residents are rewarded for recycling. The company that put together the initiative is called Wasted. Residents must sign up with Wasted, after which a refuse bag will be sent to their home. Residents fill the bag with recyclable goods and return it. Depending on the amount of trash they turn in, they will receive a certain amount of green coins. These green coins can be used as currency in local businesses. The company defines the program as a true “trash to treasure” scenario.
Columbia – Rewards For Recycling
Although this was not started by the government, it is a great eco-startup that is taking Columbia by storm. The Ecobot “was born in an effort to encourage the recycling culture in Colombia and Latin America, since recycling rates in those countries are reported below 15 percent.” Ecobot works like reverse vending machine. You place your recyclable bottle in the correct slot and out pops a reward. Rewards range from restaurant coupons, to shopping dollars to movie tickets.
Japan – Trash To Medals
Tokyo, Japan will host the 2020 Summer Olympic games. The country has proposed that it will make the Olympic medals out of e-waste from objects such as smartphones and other electronics. The country believes they will have enough e-waste in order to make both the Olympic and Paralympic games medals. This isn’t the first time Olympic medals used recycled materials. In Rio de Janeiro, in 2016, the silver and bronze medals contained 30% recycled materials and the ribbons were also partially made from recycled plastic bottles.