Plastic Bus System Indonesia

Bus Collecting Plastic in Indonesia

For those who have been in South-East Asia and specifically in Indonesia, this won’t come as a shocker: Indonesia has a HUGE problem with plastic. The country consumes a lot of it and the trash processing system cannot cope. A lot of it ends up in landfills, rivers or burned in the streets, contributing to the growing problem of air pollution.

Indonesia Fights Back Against Plastic Trash

To improve the chain of plastic-recycling, collecting the said plastic is important, and there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to this matter in Indonesia.
The city of Surabaya came up with an interesting idea to kill 2 birds with one stone. Even though the capital of East-Java is not as crowded as Jakarta, there is still a dire need for more public transportation. On top of that, Surabaya is no exception to the rest of Indonesia when it comes to bad trash processing habits.

So the mayor of the city launched an interesting project : the Suroboyo Bus !

It’s a brand new modern bus system that has 2 lines as of now, that span across the West-East and North-South of the city. This bus system is not like traditional ones, indeed your money will not be accepted to get a ride ticket, people have to pay with : Plastic Bottles !
No matter the length of your ride, you will be asked to provide 3 empty large plastic bottles or 5 small ones.

My Experience using the Suroboyo Bus

This plastic collecting bus is rather impressive I must say. To catch it, I had to use the smartphone app dedicated to it “Gobis Suroboyo Bus” that gives you the real time position of each bus, which is pretty convenient.
When I entered the bus, I was greeted by an agent responsible for the plastic collection. Everything was clean and brand new, including air conditioning. This bus system is safe, as it has CCTV and a full time agent (plus the driver) inside. Women even have dedicated spaces if they don’t want to mix, so it’s a good news.
Overall, it was a good experience, but I must insist on the fact that they do not accept money for bus tickets. I happened to forget to bring plastic bottles for my ride back home, but I was lucky enough to meet a nice guy who shared his plastic trash with me.
Even though the idea is very good, it can still be improved in terms of speed (if you are in a hurry to get somewhere, this is not the perfect option), but it gives hope for Indonesia, as the country is growing fast, implementing smart solutions is necessary.
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