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Make small changes meaningful

MA 2022
Sustainability, Circular economy, New commerce, Environmental impact

MYPACT is an impact buying service that provides a simple way to understand the environmental impact of your purchases. It rewards you for living a greener lifestyle and helps you benefit your community and the planet.

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The truth about plastic recycling:

Plastic packaging accounts for 70% of plastic waste in the UK. However, we recycle just 45% of plastics, despite a ‘War on Plastic’. Not only that, its impact on the environment will be magnified that at current rates; plastic packaging volumes are expected to more than quadruple by 2050.

A fact that deviates from our perception of "recyclable" is that most plastics are technically recyclable, but are unrecyclable in the current waste management system.

The highest-priority actions:

Circular economy design for plastics offers a new vision for stemming the tide of plastic waste through a ‘reduce and remove’ company strategy,  combine with a ‘reuse and refill’ with consumer behaviour, which means materials constantly flow around a ‘closed loop' system, rather than being used once and then discarded into the natural environment.

The challenge, however, is that it involves a wide range of players: companies, governments, waste management, and consumers. Converting this aspiration into a closed-loop system will require greater cooperation from all key actors in the value chain.

The circular economy system of the grocery industry is large and complex, especially from the time it will be sold to different consumers, to the time it will be disposed of after use by different consumers, and then into the waste management system.

One of the key points is how can consumers participate and increase the effectiveness of a circular packaging approach.


Our initial research has identified the main factors contributing to the gap in consumer attitudes and behaviours when it comes to 'sustainability'. Firstly, people have their own priorities which drive them to make buying decisions. Secondly, environmentally friendly goods tend to cost more, which is not in line with the price expectations of many consumers. Lastly, consumers struggle to measure how much impact their actions can have.

We defined our target audience which is gen-z, who has a strong awareness of sustainability and climate change.  At the same time, they are eager to have a positive environmental impact. Through our deeper interview, we narrow down this group of consumers as those who have the potential to engage with and support circular packaging methods, but the current services are insufficient to drive them across the attitude-behaviour gap.

Design direction

How might we change consumer behaviour to close the gap from caring to taking action on more circular waste management?

MYPACT aims to bring the real environmental impact of packaging to the forefront of consumers, stimulating greener purchases and more responsible handling by consumers, especially Gen Z who care about the environment, thus promoting behaviour change and maximizing the conversion of environmental concerns into actions to close the existing attitudinal-behavioural gap.

Our solution

Our service system intervenes to help consumers understand the environmental impact of their consumption and waste disposal, by providing alternative green solutions to their consumption behaviour as well as providing clear guidelines on waste disposal in order to help consumers to dispose of their waste responsibly.

We will collaborate with supermarkets and aim to help them with their sustainable strategy to promote sustainable products. As for the community, we will use the power of the community to help us build our network of recycling systems by encouraging local shops to join our recycling program which achieves by establishing a public drop-off point and setting up a recycling box as our community hub. In the future, MYPACT will build more recycling points for local residents, and eventually act in a community philanthropic way with the community program.

There are 4 main features that we provide for consumers:

Visualize - We visualise the impact of consumer behaviour and disposal behaviour to visualise its positive or negative impact on the environment, providing weekly reports to show an overview of your impact on the environment and to record changes in consumption behaviour.

Guidance - A clear and simple guidance for your waste disposal and finding the best way to manage your waste.

Alternative - We offer personalised recommendations for greener options based on your shopping profile to help you easily develop more positive shopping habits.

Offset - Redeem your MYPACT points to donate to your community infrastructure and events,  or you can redeem vouchers at our partner retailers for your next shopping.

Future-oriented strategy

What have we changed and what value do we provide?

MYPACT will benefit stakeholders at each level.

Producer - We are driving producers to reduce unsustainable materials at the source and provide more real recyclable material options.

Retailer -  We promote more waste responsibility for retailers, i.e. offering alternative options or managing the materials they sell, helping them boost their sustainable service and strategy.

Consumer - We aim to facilitate the conversion of users into users with a positive impact on consumption

Community - Reducing the pressure on waste disposal and waste pollution, while injecting more financial support into the community

As an impact buying service, MYPACT is a free app for consumers with in-app purchases for some extra features (personalized recommendations) as well as small monthly fees for free shipping. We will serve branded content and ads paid for retail brands to promote their green products. Meanwhile, we make money from selling the consuming impact data report on sustainability to consulting companies.

We argue that rather than only prioritizing fixing recycling, people should place more emphasis on reducing the amount of plastic waste from the outset. This is based on how communities can offer alternative consumption options, and it should be supported particularly in a market environment.

Our long-term vision is to reshape consumer buying habits through sustainable values. In the future, a more positive and virtuous consumer market is promoted through consumer choices to face a better transition to a circular economy.


Thanks to our tutor David Eveleigh-Evans for his support and encouragement, we couldn't have brought MYPACT to life without you. Thanks to Tessa and Christa for being interviewed by us, which gave us a lot of thoughts from a user perspective. Thanks to Freedom for your outspoken advice, which helped us reflect on the true mission of designers and rethink how to design for a circular future. Thanks to all the volunteers who took part in our interviews, workshop and prototyping, which enabled us to design MYPACT and bring reflection to many more people, we are making changes together. Thanks to Priyanjali, Shruti, Arif and other peers for supporting us. Finally, thanks to the RCA Service Design Program, which provided us the opportunity to open the door to the world of service design, and made it become a cause that we will continue to explore and develop throughout our lives.

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