Bottle cap currency

Cameroon beer promotion leaves country awash in caps

Aug 19, 2005 - A beer promotion in Cameroon has drinkers hauling home extra bottles of beer, the country awash in bottle caps and the caps being used for currency.


Competing beer companies offer prizes under every cap, and almost every $1 bottle of beer has a winner under the cap, with the smallest prize being another bottle. Other prizes include mobile phones, luxury cars and of course more beer. About 20 million caps have been sold and given away this year.

The BBC reports that consumers have begun to use winning bottle caps to pay for taxi rides.

"Virtually every consumer of beer in Cameroon has a chance of winning," said local journalist Martin Etonge in the capital, Yaounde. "Sometimes you go out just for a bottle and you find yourself coming back with four or six free bottles because of winning caps. A bottle of beer costs about $1 and that's just over the cost of a township taxi drop."

He said five beer caps would be enough to cover someone's taxi expenses for a whole day.

"Taxi drivers are also using the caps in their fishy deals with the traffic police," he said. "So they can get off by giving one or two caps to the officers."

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