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Brand and rental service for spread reusing cups in city

Service that provide to rent, communicate and spread reusing cups among stakeholders (cafes, fast foods, etc.) of city and users.

Photo of Anna Ulahelová
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Idea Title

eco cup

Idea Summary

Idea is develope service and platform that would manage, promo, call as well as educate about system of reusing cups for changing of user behavior and also behavior of local bussineses.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

Images show step by step scenario of the system and its using. Last image also show all storytelling and interactivity of the game (see below also in attached files).

It is local  service, platforma and game that has aim to improve the awarness about re-using cups in cafes, fast foods, street sale, but as well as in institutions, organisation that has situation (e.g. cofee automats) where it is using of one-use cup. It focuses on location of Bratislava in Slovakia. Eastern Europe belong to countries with low general awareness about ecological principles, recycling (only 14% of waste is recycled) and circular economy.  On other hand last 5 years quality of food stores, restaurants started to more care about their cultural or local qualities value. Bratislava is small city where almost everybody knows everybody. I would like to use this „community feeling“ to call (local bussinesses) and connect to develope community for sharing eco freindly values in their bussiness. On other side the bussiness then will be presented on the website of project and will profit from promo of this connection in same time.

I came from idea of change thinking of people and instead to one using start to actvise them for thinking about concept of re-using economy. This paradigma has to change and can play key role not just in case of cup but also of actvisation people and organisation (institution) to come with their own solution that fit to their situation and structure. Also push users to think and care about which companies and cafes they visit.

The process is:

1 - to map and call community of cafes and fast foods that decide to stop use one-use cups and started to offer cups for more uses.

2 - service Eco Cup - should provide around 3000 cups for testing renting/sharing system of cups in city (and between stakeholders). It means that every cafe or restaurant will get some cups. This cups they can offer to customers that can rent it for 2 euros. This cup then user keep it and use for other services (as cafe automats, traveling or other cafes with symbol Eco cup) or user can also return it and get his/her money back. Also when the user will come to cafe with own eco cup he/she will get discount for next drink or coffee.

3- develope web/app  platforem that should:

- collect local cafes/companies who join service and provide reusing cup and also returning and cleaning system - that will show on map and help people to find the nearest spot

- provide user (local citizien) to map his money and cup saving, collect points and special s

- present brands that join project in locality

The aim is:

- call and spread community of stakeholders and users

- invovled new people for managing service / support, sponsors, etc.

- invoved also other institutions, organisation, schools, airports, railway station, train companies etc. to think about alternatives of the systems for reusing cups.

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Reusable System
  • Alternative Delivery System

How is your concept recoverable?

Idea is use rental and sharing system for reusing cups from durable but also more eco gentle materials (that - cup materials - would be task for next steps of project development).

How have you incorporated additional sustainability attributes (beyond recoverability) into your solution?

Idea focus on different user situation and experiences. It can push to think about one-using cups as complex problem connect not just with cafes and fast food but also with automats for coffee at schools, offices, during traveling at the train or railway station. It also look more for this problem from perspective of changing user behavior and thinking about his everyday behavior.

What regions do you plan to address with your solution (and how will you accomplish this)?

Slovakia, city scale - Bratislava

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Stakeholders of Bratislava as well as citiziens. (The concept is on local/city level but I think it can be use/transfer maybe in every city - with own community for managing it.)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

What are the biggest challenges you are facing today? What are existing gaps in your solution?

reserach about stakeholders and calling them, financial support and cups for trying this model in small scale with some stakeholders, find the way how to testing the service

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Business Model Development
  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Supply Chain
  • Waste and Infrastructure
  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling
  • Fundraising / Finance

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

I am graphic designer - freelancer and Phd students of visual communication with interest on design thinking, service design, data design and UX.

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?

Slovakia, Eastern Europe

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

- invest to partners and people who would support and work for this idea - eco-cup team - to make the first testing with 3000 cups, distribute to stakeholders - support stakeholders and help them with find solution for cleaning and managing system - PR of project and developing of webpage/app - use start-up and crowdfounding as tool for actvise community/citiziens, invovled them to process of this project

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO social media

Attachments (1)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Daniel Grosso

Well done Anna Ulahelová ! I really like that you're focusing on the human factor of wastefulness and promoting communities to really care. In my experience it is the conversations that are the most valuable drivers of change. I've been working on a similar initiative in Perth, Western Australia called GO2CUP - Facilitating participation and cooperation towards a waste free future. I'm putting together a Facebook group for cafes participating with returnable cup libraries if you and your trial cafes would like to join and discuss challenges and ways to improve? Also, you don't need the 3,000 cups to trial the idea. Cups can be easy to come by in second hand stores or out of the cupboard of people in the community who want to reduce disposable cups from their favourite cafe. It's also a great way to involve the community and build a support network before you invest in purchasing 3,000 cups. It's also a good way to start dialogue with cafes because if the initiative doesn't work for the cafe and their staff then they won't drive it.

Photo of Anna Ulahelová

Thank you very much Daniel Grosso ! I checked your project and WOW you did a really good job in case of managing and define all relationships and values. It is definitely big inspiration for me and I will join your community on FB for inspiration. I agree with fact that it is not necessary to buy that many cups in the begining and I like the idea to start with using old or second hand cups - as first steps for starting dialog. I am now contacting some other activists, NGO or designers etc. who could be interest in this initiatives and help me with moving of this project. I see potential of that because it can be implemented also on institutions level or other situation. As now I am sitting in National Technical Library in Prague. It has own cafe/restaurant and students can take their coffee inside Library. It is very typical situation go here and buy coffee before. Also houndreds (!!!) of students regularly visit this Library because it is modern spot for studying but also meeting friends and relaxing. And I think young people are a perfect for getting used to change of their routine and behavior. It is just one of many situation when I realise the potential now. So keep in touch! It will be my pleasure to discuss more about our concepts in future and get more practical advises. :-)

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