India’s first Digital Deposit Refund System wins Digital India Awards 2022

India’s first Digital Deposit Refund System wins Digital India Awards 2022
| 2 Min read

Recykal wishes the Government of Uttarakhand hearty congratulations on bagging the Digital India Awards 2022 under ‘Digital Initiatives in Collaboration with Startups’! The awards are focused on Excellence by Government Entities in collaboration with Startups (as recognized by DPIIT) for enhancement and/or transformation of digital governance, improving the experience of digital services and digital empowerment of citizens i.e., fulfilling Digital India Vision.


To manage the problem of plastic littering on the Kedarnath pilgrimage trek, the Rudraprayag District Administration, Uttarakhand, implemented a unique Digital Deposit Refund System (Digital DRS). Under this initiative, the District Administration signed an MOU in May 2022 with Recykal, a tech disruptor accelerating circularity in India.

With the help of the local district administration, Recykal was able to distribute & ensure the usage of unique QR-coded stickers to all shops enroute the Kedarnath trek. The shop vendors pasted these QR-coded stickers onto consumer goods packaged in plastic. Tourists/Citizens paid a deposit amount (₹10) while purchasing products with plastic packaging and got a refund via cash or UPI on responsibly-returning the plastic bottle at one of the many Deposit Refund Centres that were placed strategically on the 50 km stretch of the Kedarnath shrine.


As a result of this program, 33 thousand of plastic bottles were returned by tourists to the collection centres. In addition to this, Recykal collected & channelised another 1.3 Lakh non-QR coded plastic bottles to recyclers in Kashipur. A total of 1.63 Lakh plastic bottles have been successfully stopped from entering landfills or Himalayan water bodies.

Recykal’s Deposit Refund System (DRS) has been designed to solve the existing challenges of ineffective collection and channelization of waste in Kedarnath. By placing a value on the waste, we’re enabling efficient material recovery and of better quality for recycling.” says Abhay Deshpande, Founder, Recykal.

About the Digital India Awards 2022:


The Digital India Awards (DIA) presents an opportunity to bring to the fore digital initiatives. These awards are instituted under the aegis of the National Portal of India to encourage and honour innovative digital solutions by government entities at all levels. DIA 2022 aims to inspire and motivate not only government entities but also startups in fulfilling the Digital India vision.

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