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Design for sustainable behaviour: reducing single use coffee cup waste in the UK

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conference contribution
posted on 07.06.2021, 08:45 authored by Vicky LofthouseVicky Lofthouse, Debra LilleyDebra Lilley
This paper reports on a Research and Enterprise project which aimed to identify, design and test behavioural change interventions to reduce single use coffee cup waste within an education and business innovation campus located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, in partnership with BT Sports, Here East, Change Please and the London Legacy Development Corporation. Drawing on design for behaviour change strategies, the team investigated the most appropriate mechanisms for reducing single use coffee cup waste in the campus context, whilst responding to customer and business requirements. This led to the development of a coffee cup recycling station to accommodate and encourage the separation of the lid, cup and liquid using affordances, constraints, social proof and visual feedback to eradicate contamination, streamline the separation process prior to disposal through logical staging of separation steps, and provide clear graphical communication so that it is intuitive, convenient and quick for all users.
The paper presents the emergent prototypes. It then reflects on the challenges in applying design for behaviour change strategies within a real-world context and considers the efficacy of the chosen strategies in successfully directly behaviour towards fulfilling the design goals. The work furthers understanding of appropriate evaluative measures, balancing meaningful qualitative and quantitative metrics and the benefits of mixed strategy approach, whilst delivering a much-needed applied case study of strategy in practice. These factors address notable gaps in current academic research in the field of Design for Sustainable Behaviour.



  • Design and Creative Arts


  • Design

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Proceedings of EcoDesign 2019 International Symposium


11th International Symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing (EcoDesign2019)




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© The Authors

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Yokohama, Japan

Event dates

25th November 2019 - 27th November 2019


Dr Vicky Lofthouse. Deposit date: 3 June 2021

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