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Case Study of the Day: QR Based Waste Disposal System

Context:  A QR code-based project to prevent littering the Char Dham route with plastic bottles and packets is being implemented in Uttarakhand.

About QR based Waste Disposal System

  • How does the system Work?
    • Initially, Visitors will scan a QR code on each plastic bottle and multi-layer plastic bag (of chips or biscuits) and pay a deposit over the maximum retail price (MRP).
    • Later, they can claim this amount back as a refund when they deposit the waste at a point at the end of the yatra.
    • This system is expected to reduce the huge piles of trash strewn around the sacred shrine, mountains, and water bodies.
    • Above all, larger idea behind the initiative is to bring about a behavioral change in pilgrims.
  • Implementation
    • The idea and execution is being carried out by a Hyderabad-based start-up that provides software solutions for better recycling and sustainability.
  • Regions covered by system
    • The Char Dham yatra route covers temples at Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers region.
  • Impact recorded from Pilot project
    • The daily solid waste generated in just Kedarnath amounts to about 1,000 kg, during the yatra season.
    • The project saved 1.63 lakh single-use plastic bottles from entering the fragile mountain ecosystem.
  • Significance of such initiatives
    • Himalayas are a critical ecosystem, as they are the source for perennial rivers, critical for energy security, influence climate by sustaining Monsoon, and attract many tourists.
    • In order to maintain the balance in such a significant ecosystem, initiatives integrated with technology are essential for sustainable development of Himalayan Region.


  • Thus, technology when focused in the right sense offers great potential to bring about sustainable changes in a region. Hence, the need for more such initiatives to address the Environmental Degradation issues in India.

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