What if we reused grocery RFID to increase recycling

A huge amount of products we buy in our weekly grocery shop contain RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips, these are small radio chips that can be detected should they pass the exit without first being de-activated. Many large supermarket chains now also use these for stock management with auto replenish systems in place to manage stock on the shop floor. This means the use of these chips on product packaging is growing. Contained within these tags is the information of the product its attached to.

What if we re-used the RFID information contained in these products to monitor and analyse our household waste and consumption and aid us in our behaviour and choices.

Imagine a recycle unit together with a general waste unit in each home that detected the actual product being deposed of, this data could provide feedback to the household on its carbon footprint and offer areas of improvement. Tie this together with an opt-in replenishment opportunity for supermarkets and/or local small business alternatives and it could possibly fund itself while helping the environment.

Smart fridges and freezers are in development to allow this to happen, but what if we don’t need this and instead just need to monitor what we throw away.

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