What we see in the shops?
On our field observation on several coffee shops in Bandung, Indonesia, we found that the amount of customers using disposable cup in-store is as much as customers that use it on-the-go. There are two main reason we found on why customers use disposable cup in-store:
1. Lack of choice (unconscious act). The store, mostly the fast food store type, was not giving enough option for the customers to choose from the start. The existing conformity was opted for the store dish-maintenance convenience.
2. People avoids being bounded with a place/shops, as they being unsure whether they will have to go somewhere else during their meals/drink. This results in their choice (conscious act) of using disposable cup even if they actually manage to finish their drink in-store.
(reference: some of OpenIdeo Chapters Researches)
However, many stores are opting out using mugs/reusable cup due to their short of time and staffs to do the cup washing frequently. Big coffee shops has too many costumers to handle (costumers amount are linear to cup usages amount), while the smaller ones doesn't invest much on washing space and cost.
Lack of choice, lack of time, lack of investment, but most of all..
Lack of consideration.
How might we...
If reducing on-the-go disposable cup usage is tricky, why don't we start by the other ends --reducing the in-store disposable cup usage?
Letting the customers have a better option, as well as make them do better after they have made a bad choice of product (disposable cup for in-store use).
Accordingly, our design challenge is "How might we make washing (disposable) cup fun and easy so everyone can join (and make it reusable)?"
This proposed cooperative system would let each party to make a better choice. When either having a disposable-cup on-the-go or fully using reusable cup in-store are both painful for any of each party,
We will offer the third option in between:
Using disposable cup in-store but wash it (cooperatively) afterwards.
We need both party (sellers and customers) to be considerate and responsible to their choice
How StepWash! works
Changing behavior using gamification approach. Equipped medium-scale and large-scale coffee shops with low-energy washing machine powered by human-machine interaction.
After using their cup (disposable or reusable) in-store, costumers are encouraged to wash the cup in a fun and easy way, giving a chance of someone after them using the cup they just wash safely. All they need to do is to interact with a certain tile (electric switch) connected with the washing machine: stomp, step, stand or jump on it!
The machine and washing process will be shown publicly as a part of the campaign.
Cup Material + Recoverability
StepWash! requires cups that washable on its both side and durable. The cup main body will be grown from mycelium as it locally available, solid, waterproof, and easily grown almost everywhere. While if needed, the inner liner can use Colocasia Esculenta (L.) Leaf Bio-Wax (on-going lab experimentation phase on Bandung Institute of Technology).
(cr: Mycelium block from Mycotech, mycelium research start-up from Bandung, Indonesia)
This system doesn't require a redesign of existing cup shape. But we did several prototyping on the R&D process.