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The city of Surabaya in Indonesia launched an initiative this year to let residents purchase bus tickets with recycled plastic bottles. Five plastic bottles or ten plastic cups can be exchanged for a two-hour bus pass. As of this month, data shows that a single bus can remove up to 250 kg (550 lbs) of plastic waste per day. Surabaya aims to help reduce the amount of plastic in Indonesia, which is said to be the second-largest contributor to ocean plastic in the world, and become plastic-free by 2020.

Three quick takeaways to apply to your next eco-innovation:

Crowdsourcing meets convenience. Plastic waste is a problem too big for governments alone to solve. Globally, eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year; locally, a plastic ‘iceberg’ clogging an Indonesian river needed to be removed by the army. Surabaya makes it ultra-convenient for people to play their part: as well as depositing waste at terminals, passengers can literally ‘pay’ for their tickets with trash on the bus! Can you make doing good as seamless?

Closing the loop. A further challenge with nudging people to live more sustainably is that the impact of consumer choices isn’t immediately felt, if at all. Surabaya’s initiative tackles this in many innovative ways. First, it gives people a direct financial incentive (for more on this see our CURRENCIES OF CHANGE trend). More innovatively, revenue from selling the waste helps fund the bus network and the city’s green spaces. How might you link customer behavior to tangible benefits in a similarly transparent and direct fashion?

Necessity, the mother of eco-innovation. Many of the best sustainability innovations emerge from places where, sadly, the need for them is greatest. We’ve previously featured roads made from plastic in Ghana, and food packaging made from seaweed, also from Indonesia. Which global eco-innovations could you adapt and bring to your local market?