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Entire world likes Rome's plastic recycling scheme says mayor

Rome mayor crops BBC video to avoid criticism of city's trash situation.

Rome's system of recycling plastic in exchange for bus and metro tickets continues to "please the entire world", according to the city's mayor Virginia Raggi.

"Abroad they keep talking about us. Newspaper articles, but also television and radio services have appeared in England, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Turkey, and even in Indonesia!", the mayor posted on her Facebook page.

The experimental system, which allows commuters to accumulate credits for the purchase of metro tickets, was recently featured on the BBC as well as in the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel. In September the mayor even took a delegation of Malaysian diplomats to see the system in operation.

The mayor posted a shortened version of the BBC service, whose original video begins with the statement: "Rubbish bins are overflowing on the streets of Rome", followed by footage of a woman holding a scarf over her nose as she walks past bins in the Monti district.

The cropped video also cuts out the section when the head of Italy's environmental association Legambiente, Stefano Ciafani, describes the situation in Rome as "quite disastrous" adding that "in these years Rome has failed to create an efficient system for separating waste, like Milan for example."

With each plastic bottle recycled commuters receive a credit of five cents, meaning if they recycle 30 bottles they receive a free €1.50 ticket.

The city's macchinette mangiaplastica, or "plastic eating machines", are currently located at three metro stations: Cipro on the A line, Piramide on the B line, and S. Giovanni on the C line. However the mayor says that more machines will be introduced in the coming weeks.

The system has been extraordinarily successful since it was introduced in July. Over the past 11 weeks Rome commuters have recycled 750,000 bottles.

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