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Changing consumer behaviours through education & incentivisation: this drinks-to-go system offers convenience & reduces plastic.

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The OTG drinks category has seen such a rise in the past 20 years that bottled beverages are ingrained in consumer behaviour. Our dependance on the convenience of being able to purchase a drink anywhere, anytime currently comes at the cost of producing, filling, shipping & storing bottles & caps for each individual drink. Our FOUNT solution takes the original concept of water fountains to reduce the vast volume of packaging, leveraging 21st century technology to facilitate & incentivise behaviour change, whilst also taking the opportunity to educate around wider sustainability issues. From a convenience point of view: Consumers self-serve at hi-tech fountains, using a reusable vessel. NFR technology, allows them to pay for their drinks cash-free and queue-free. From a behaviour change point of view, reuse & loyalty to the fountain is incentivised as the consumer receives a discount on the drink every time they reuse the vessel, (with the discount increasing the more times the vessel is used!). From an education point of view, the fountains themselves would serve as an opportunity to communicate the wider sustainability issues: via the construction themselves (made from recycled plastics) and via screens and branding space. Essentially the fountain concept could save up to 96% of the plastic currently used in the drinks to go category.

NOTE: Although we know your brief is NOT aimed at reinventing large formats, in thinking about how we could increase the value of smaller plastic components to be reused/recycled themselves, our ideation lead us to consider the way in which liquid packaging and vending could be totally transformed and incentivised to begin a transformation of consumer behaviour, away from such a disposable culture.

Idea Title

Incentivised environmental responsibility, transforming the drinks industry and moving consumers away from disposability to reusability.

Company / Organization Name

Touch Packaging Innovation


Where are you / your team located?

Maidenhead, UK

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

The FOUNT solution offers consumers with the convenience of the OTG drinks category, but without the single-use packaging that currently facilitates it. Single-use, low-value and difficult to collect & recycle plastic bottles & caps would be replaced by reusable drinks bottles that facilitate and incentivise a world-wide behaviour change & acceptance of a new, packaging-free way of accessing drinks OTG.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Lucas relies on the convenience that eating and drinking OTG offer. This comes at the cost of many individual pieces of packaging. If Lucas could reduce one piece of packaging for every meal (the beverage) the would have an impact. The FOUNT System would incentivise his loyalty every time he used it. Nigel would be content to see see people reusing their own bottles – incentivised to keep them rather than throw them away.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

We feel this idea has global relevance within first world communities – with possible application across multiple categories.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

We envision working with the EMF to help link our specialist creative and technical product and packaging innovation expertise with expert EMF partners to develop the concept through to prototype. The FOUNT would initially be developed and rolled out across the events industry: where single-use plastic packaging is a key challenge for events organisers. We would then leverage the expertise of EMF to share the exciting potential for change with city planners, building facility organisations, etc.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

Touch would leverage our technical design expertise to develop the structure & mechanism of the FOUNT. We would use our production industry know-how & contacts to source manufacturers, working with the EMF network to source the recycled plastic & communication materials, leveraging the EMF network to gain momentum and awareness amongst influential individuals who would help secure wider-scale installation.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Inspired by packaging-free supermarkets across the globe during our frequent ‘in the field’ packaging research, we felt this concept could be applied to the OTG drinks market. Water Fountain systems trialled in the past have been met with enthusiasm and interest amongst consumers (ref: 100 fountains :, but we felt that the fountain would need to do ’more’ than just provide drink, as also reflected in Ideo Sydney’s plastic tracking.

Tell us about your work experience

In the last 2 years our work for clients such us Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Nestle Waters, Highland Spring and Carlsberg Group has led to major innovation in bottle and beverage packaging

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

Touch design is a privately owned limited company with two major share holders.

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