Welcome to the BetaCup!
Lets go over the issue:
58 billion paper coffee cups are thrown away, un-recycled, each year.
Now let us digest the issue a little farther. The problem is not that Paper cups are being overused. The problem is not that there is not the right resources available or correct technology at developer�s fingertips. The problem is that there is a general lack of interest, education, and practice in recycling and green initiatives. It�s the consumers that are throwing away these paper cups. Its not companies like Starbucks or McDonalds.
Let's go over my proposed solution:
The solution is not to invent a new wacky product or mislead customers. The solution is to inspire them to do what is right. This isn't as easy as it sounds and in today's society of consumerism and monetary demand people will do what is easiest, cheapest, and most convenient to them; throw the cup away. The way to achieve this solution will not be the efforts of one but of many.
The help and support of corporate giants will help swing the entire population. For this "contest" I will use Starbucks as an example. Starbucks will have to start a program to encourage the recycling of their paper cups. They can encourage this by giving customers incentives:
1. Charge an additional deposit for using paper cups. When returned to any Starbucks location that deposit is returned.
2. Although already in place, reduce costs to those who already bring their own cups. Alternatively, cheaper costs to consume products in store with re useable materials such as glass or ceramic.
3. Have a reward service based not on how much the consumer buys, but on how much the consumer recycles. So if a person returns 35 Starbucks cups they will receive 35 points that is linked to a series of partners that will offer different discounts, incentives, and even use consumer�s points to make charitable donations to certain eco saving programs.
Next, Starbucks will use any additional funds they generate from un-recycled cup deposits and funds to create a programs that are useful to all consumers and businesses; not just their loyal customer base. These funds do not go toward Starbuck�s profits, but to a fund that is only used to increase education through the use of:
1. Social Media and Publications.
2. Showing people the actual costs on their uses.
3. Education programs in schools, universities, public events, etc.
4. Logo-ing and association with other initiatives.
These funds can also be used for the last part of the puzzle is to get people to practice. Once all of the incentives and education and social buzz are in place consumers need to have the actual ability to practice the ideas preached. This can be increased by:
- Having various methods of getting the waste product in. Via various different stores, mail, recycling programs.
- New types of receptacles for paper cups.
- Development of software to reduce paper use in other areas such as getting rid of the need of paper receipts.
Developing new uses for un-recyclable product such as paper cups being shredded to make insulation for homes.
Now this may seem like a lot for one company to handle. But it has to start somewhere and can spread to many. It also gives incentives for companies to promote repeat business by getting people back in the store and still doing good things on the side.
Goals to be achieved
Waste Reduction � Increased recycling and increased re-use of non disposable containers/
Resources Required � Marketing, time, a lot of support and volunteer work, money.
New or Existing Capabilities � All existing capabilities with the incentive to develop new ones
The Whole experience � The idea is an experience. The solution isn�t just one answer.
Some new issues created with this solution:
1. Increased energy resources need to generate media and awareness.
2. Increased strain on the business.
3. Companies will not be willing to sacrifice profit for eco friendly choices.
4. Possible degradation in product quality due to consumers using containers that are not at seller standards.
I'm sure this idea will change a lot. But I wanted to inspire people to do something different and consider some other factors when making a new idea.
I have added some more marketing ideas for actually using the plan specific to Starbucks....please read comments below.