Tuesday 13 December 2016 11.08 GMT
Located just behind Amsterdam Centraal station with views looking out across the river IJ, Al Ponte is a popular cafe serving a constant stream of commuters on their way to and from the nearby ferry port. Not all Al Ponte’s customers pay for their coffees, however. Not in the traditional sense anyway.
Al Ponte is one of the businesses participating in Wasted, a pilot project running in Amsterdam’s Noord district which incentivises households to recycle their plastics by rewarding them with discounts at local businesses.
When prospective participants sign up they are given bags labelled with unique QR codes, enabling the scheme’s organisers to apportion the correct credit to each household once the filled bags have been collected. For every bag of plastics they produce households earn one green coin.
At present the coins are sent to users in the post, although next year Wasted’s organisers want to develop the scheme’s digital currency. As well as reducing bureaucracy, this will enable them to engage online businesses in offering rewards