France and recycling go together like hammers and fromage frais, which is why the country has some of the worst recycling rates in Europe. Local startup Uzer is hoping to encourage better habits with Eugene, a smarttrash can that'll tell users what they can recycle and track what they're consuming. Essentially, it's a pedal bin with a barcode scanner bolted onto the top, but if that's what it takes to get folks separating their cardboard and plastic, it might just be worth it.
Let's say that you had a microwave meal that you'd eaten and you were about to discard the packaging. Simply wander over to Eugene and scan the product's barcode until the display leaps into life. It'll say, for instance, that the cardboard body and hard plastic tray can be recycled, but the thin film has to go in general waste. Then you can go about your day with the feeling of satisfaction that can only be gained from knowing you're helping not destroy the very planet we live on. read more >>