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How an extra cost makes us think

How a daily product that we are used to get for free becomes unnecessary when it has a price.

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I made a visit to my local walmart and Sam's club to see how much plastic bags they use. Walmart give plastic bags for free for anything you buy, you can go and buy a bar of chocolate and they give it to you with a plastic bag, different from Sam's club, that they charge you extra if you want plastic bags, if you want your products in bags they charge you $1 MXN (Like $0,054 USD).

Asking people leaving Sam's club about why they didn't use any plastic bags they told me that "They didn't really need them".

When they ask for a bag to put their groceries on the store staff responds that it would cost $1 extra, that moment the customers evaluates if it's really necessary. It's something similar to what Psychiatrist Judson Brewer says about bad habits, if you just take a moment to really understand if you need a plastic bag, you can see you don't really need it to get to your car.

How does this research relate to our Use Cases?

This relates to Case 1, because this case questions a bunch of products like shampo, foods, spices, etc. asking "How might we ensure affordability and convenience while still avoiding to create non-recyclable waste?". Well some of those thing would hopefully be sold on this big stores where they give plastic bags, so I think it could be important too.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

If you can make people to rethink if they really need to use a certain product and successfully stop them to use it, I think we can make people rethink the usage of some plastic products to prevent them to create non-recyclable waste.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a Design student living in Guadalajara Mexico, I liked reading about solutions other people's posts on this platform, reading about what works in other countries inspires me to write about mine.


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Hi David!
There are 3 days left in the ideas phase of the circular design challenge! It would be great to see your ideas there, submit your idea via -

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