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Leash the lid

Providing access to recyclable and reusable water, juice, soda bottles and other beverages to eliminate plastic waste in our environment.

Photo of Joseph Mulabbi
4 2

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Because bottle caps float, sea birds often mistake them for food. For some species, such as the Pacific Albatross, plastic ingestion is a major factor in their decline and potential extinction. Based on that, for commercial beverages sold in PET, and HDPE, we need to employ “leash-the-lid” technology to ensure that all products manufactured, the cap stays attached to the bottle. This advance in recycling technology enables both the bottle and cap which are made from different plastics to be recycled together. Manufacturers can begin voluntarily making this change come to reality and policymakers can speed the process by advancing “leash-the-lid” legislation.

The following will help us to achieve and scale our model.

REDUCE: Drastically reduce the use of plastic for single-use disposable products and packaging. It makes no sense to use a material designed to last forever for a product that’s designed to last a few minutes and that is why we should make products which go together bottle caps and tear offs.

REDESIGN: We have shifted the design away from harmful plastics toward a) providing the goods or services in ways that use recyclable packaging, b) substituting with bio benign materials made from sustainable materials like wood or glass, and c) designing products and packaging for end-of-life, including opportunities for reuse before material recovery for remanufacture.

REUSE & RECYCLE: Scale and replicate zero waste reuse, recycling and composting policies and strategies funded in part by the companies that put products into the market in the first place.

REIMAGINE: We are hard at work designing the materials of the 21st century that can provide for humanity’s needs without causing harm. We need to be supported through investment and adoption.

RETHINK PROGRESS: Shift consciousness to replace the “throw-away society” with a culture of stewardship that questions the role of plastic in our economy and seeks to transition to a Zero Waste future with “Leash-The-Lid” model.

Idea Title

Leash the Lid

Company / Organization Name

Youth Contact Association


Under development

Where are you / your team located?

We are found in Uganda-East Africa

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

Our customers are increasingly aware of the environment and waste, they are more and more conscious of the amount of packaging used. We need to look at ways of tackling this packaging and reducing the amount of material we are using by collaboratively engaging in new product design, and packaging if we are to cut down the rate of plastics pollution in our environment. LEASH-THE-LID helps to ensure both the bottle and cap which are made from different plastics are recycled together.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

We creatively and innovatively provide a long-term therapy to plastic waste concerns put forward by Use Case 2(Bottle caps and Tear-offs) by introducing our design model which enables both the bottle and cap which are made from different plastics to be recycled together.

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

In East Africa and later in Africa at scale

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

The world of business is full of challenges and obstacles for instance market competition, product rejections, improper marketing, insufficient funds leading to insufficient human and material resource. But we believe that only those who are persistent win the race and therefore the following strategies will help us to overcome obstacles and scale the idea. -Comprehensive marketing plan. -Partnerships -Attractive designs -Sale based on discounts -Freebies

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.

If we made it as a Top Idea we would: - Launch in downtown in Uganda and East Africa, grow to over 20,000 users and 30 corporate partners within a year - Leverage connections through accelerator to scale further and refine business model considering regulations with expert advice - Enhance marketing, research and development by engaging in incentive tests with users

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The idea emerged from Uganda through the creative minds of Youth Contact Association team members who came together to brainstorm on the circular design and came up with this idea as their final project idea.

Tell us about your work experience

Youth Contact Association is a registered NGO with experienced professionals in entrepreneurship, designers, social workers, community development specialists, and ICT engineers.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

We are a registered non-governmental organization based in Uganda working as a think tank for social economic growth and development for all.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

HI Joseph!

What changes are needed to the manufacturing process to implement your idea?

Have you checked out the other ideas in the challenge for inspiration?

Photo of Joseph Mulabbi

Hi Kate
Thanks for asking.
Manufacturers need to start looking at the entire cycle of the product packaging and strategically design products' packaging that can be recycled together in order to minimize plastic waste in our communities.

Yes I have read through some ideas for inspiration.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Joseph,

It is good to see how actively engaged you are in this challenge.

Also, are you on LinkedIn? We have a Circular Design Guide Group -

This group is about design & the circular economy. It's run jointly by IDEO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. It currently has over 6 thousand members.

Photo of Joseph Mulabbi

Yes I am, I've asked to join thanks