Barcode scanner helps you recycle

BERLIN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 5, 2017) (REUTERS) – A barcode scanner that helps sort your recycling has gone on display at the IFA technology fair in Berlin.

Eugene is the brainchild of French start-up Uzer and is available in France for 99 euros. The firm hopes to launch in the UK and North America next year.

It’s small – 10 centimetres (cm) by 10cm by 3.5 cm – and its adhesive strip makes it easy to stick by your household garbage bins. A simple scan of an item will tell you whether it can be fully or partly recycled or should go to landfill.

“You simply scan the barcode of your product and Eugene will tell you how to recycle the different components. Eugene will also reward you for your gesture. It’s connected to a mobile app. Every time you scan a product Eugene will reward you with points which you can convert to vouchers and discounts on your favourite products,” co-founder Paul Alarcon told Reuters.

Reports generated by the app will also provide the nutritional value of products and alert users to the presence of allergens.

Uzer has already signed up a number of large retailers for its rewards plan and has a database of more than 200,000 products.

“Each product you scan is saved in the app, so you can track and analyse your consumption. As a discarded product is often a product you need to re-buy the application also allows you to prepare your shopping lists and send it directly into the online cart of your regular retailer.”

Eugène is equipped with a screen and a barcode scanner, while a smartphone and WiFi router do the rest.

“There is a motion sensor, so every time you come next to Eugene to scan the product, to throw out the product, the camera will turn on, said Alarcon. “The batteries last for six months minimum.”

The firm says Eugene will help individuals and companies make a painless contribution to improving recycling rates.

“People want to recycle, but there is a gap between intention and action, because there of a lack of information on properly sorting waste. At the same time people are more demanding and proactive in their consumption and expect better information from brands and retailers to adapt more sustainable consumption.”

IFA is the largest tech fair in Europe and ends on September 6.