ENKHUIZEN – The EcoScan was consulted almost 100,000 times in 2021. The most frequently asked question is about the plastic bag with aluminum foil. Due to the layer of foil on the inside of the plastic bag, there is a lot of uncertainty among many people.
The EcoScan makes it easy for people to contribute to a better environment. Just scan the barcode of the packaging or take a photo and the EcoScan tells you which waste bin it can be thrown into. If the waste is still too good to throw away, the app advises the thrift store to increase circularity.
“On average, about 3,100 people a month use the EcoScan service to scan a barcode or take a picture of the waste. Separating waste is therefore not a matter of will, but above all of being able to and knowing what to do,” says Rick Buiten, the inventor of the EcoScan.
“Many people like to separate their waste and they do it with the best intentions. However, due to all the different rules and packaging, it has become too difficult to properly separate the waste. That is why I developed the EcoScan, so that people can get an answer to their question quickly and easily.’ says Rick. The EcoScan also works to remove doubts. For example, a recyclable container was recommended in 67% of the scans, but that does not immediately mean that it can also be recycled. The plastic bag with an aluminum layer is allowed at PBD, but recycling is still difficult, so it is still sorted out in the factory. That explains why the product has come first.
Making it easier for companies
One of the spearheads for 2022 is to make it easier for municipalities and producers to find each other so that more can be recycled with better quality. The advice that is given is based on the location of the user. ‘Instead of the discard guide, the producer would therefore be better off placing the EcoScan QR code on the packaging, since the EcoScan maps out the correct sorting advice per country and/or per municipality,’ says Rick. Municipalities can deviate from the rules and that sometimes makes separating waste so difficult. A good example is a tea bag. In one municipality it is allowed at GFT and in another it must be at Residual waste. The app takes this into account with contracted municipalities and therefore always recommends the right container.
Pilot with Dutch Packaging Center
To test this in practice, we conducted a pilot together with students from the University of Twente, the Dutch Packaging Center and the brewery Brouwersnös. ‘The research showed that the EcoScan is very suitable for advising the user on the right container based on his location by means of the EcoScan QR code.’ says Rick.
Do you sometimes have questions about waste or do you want to know what percentage of your waste is recyclable? Then download the EcoScan app. The app can be downloaded for free in both the Google Play Store and the App Store.
The EcoScan is a service that enables companies and users to sort waste properly. Proper sorting improves quality and ensures that more can be recycled.
In addition, EcoScan helps producers with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), whereby they are held responsible for also thinking about the end-of-life of the product and the packaging.