A problem is our oceans are filling up with about 8 million tons of plastic waste each year leading to a prediction of more plastic than sea water in the oceans by around 2050 – 30 years hence – which waste is getting into the seafood chain. So I propose to get items like plastic bottles discarded on our pavements, streets and parks etc picked up and deposited in special containers which in return deliver a token for a tea or coffee in a local outlet. The solution is to incentivise people out shopping, walking, socialising etc to pick up and deposit plastic into specialised containers and in return receive a non-plastic token to use for a tea/coffee/etc in a local coffee shop. I’ve seen this in operation in Berlin and the majority of folk who do this are the city’s rough or outdoor sleepers. The container could be funded by local authorities and local retail businesses especially as all stakeholders ‘win’ in this scheme – less street cleaning by local authorities, more footfall trade in cafes, a perceived freebie by citizens, a warm drink and sense of local involvement by rough sleepers, a reduction in ocean plastic pollution.
The scheme could be extended to bottles for a token to use in local bars, pubs, retail drink outlets.