Recycle Oyster cards in London

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When Oyster cards first appeared, you had to go to a ticket booth to buy one, and similarly when you wanted to return it (as tourists tend to do), you had to go back, they took it, then refunded the money.

Now, because there are almost no ticket booths left, you can get your Oyster card refunded at a machine. However, there is nowhere for you to put the now cancelled and useless Oyster card once you're done. No slot in the machine, no box next to it or in the station.

This means people throw their cards in the bin, which adds to the already outrageously huge amount of plastic in our landfills and oceans.

When a friend recently tried to return her card at Victoria station, we were surprised to find that TFL doesn't take the cards back. When we asked the person on duty, he just shrugged and said "keep it as a souvenir".

London is a big tourist destination and even though people now can use their contactless cards, not every country has these. This means tourists still buy Oyster cards for their stay, which can be for only a few days. This means a huge amount of cards is used for a short period of time, and then results on trash.

I want TFL and the Mayor of London to offer recycling points for Oyster cards, so these can be used time and time again instead of creating another continent in the ocean. These could be installed at every major train station and some popular tourist attractions, like Piccadilly circus, Oxford circus, Westminster etc.

Staff could then get the cards at the end of the day and either recycle them, or put them back in circulation.



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