Getting all consumers to dispose of their used products properly is an immense challenge. While most people dispose of their waste properly, a non-negligible fraction of the population litters often enough for this to be a systemic issue, both in terms of degraded environments and wasted resources.
Digitalisation can help. Smart bins provide the opportunity to “gamify” out-of-home collection by giving consumers something back in exchange for the used product they just disposed of in the desired manner.
Through integrated scanners in combination with an App, users could be given any kind of “credit” for their “contribution”. Think of it as a consumer reward programme as in “buy 10, get one free”. Here it would be dispose of 10 coffee cups, drink cans or bottles, snack wrapper, and get a free coffee, drink or snack at any of the participating companies.
Today consumers are already used to getting their boarding pass via airline Apps and scanning them at different check points throughout the airport. The technology already exists. It is only a matter of investing in its redeployment to help make the collection of on-the-go packaging a complete reality.
● Related statistics: smartphone ownership is more common among those who are younger or more affluent