The start of the end for single-use coffee cups The start of the end for single-use coffee cups

The start of the end for single-use coffee cups

Our client, a large hospitality chain, wanted to get under the skin of consumer attitudes, motivations, and barriers to recycling and reuse. The project aimed to identify insights on drivers and barriers to the use of reusable cups to help our client own this space and drive systemic change.

TBA Approach.

  1. Foundational review; immersion into existing articles, research, and internal documents.

  2. Stakeholder interviews; to ensure a 360 perspective, including internal stakeholders and external experts from across the business and markets (UK, Germany & China).

  3. Client & competitor store visits conducting observational research across store types (train station, petrol station, express machines), including short conversations with baristas/staff where appropriate.

  4. In-store intercepts; 4 x 2-hour sessions in low & high reuse stores, intercepting a range of customers sitting in and on the go.

Behavioural Insights, Interventions & Impact.

  1. Single-use cups were identified as a systemic issue, with consumers lacking awareness of the problem or its solution. A crucial need exists to reframe the challenge and educate people that reuse is better than recycling.

  2. To address this, we created 7 behavioural hypotheses, framed by the COM-B model, to systematically break down the problem.

  3. We identified 5 core levers to support more sustainable behaviour, each supported by a few key thought starters. For example, in 'communications' strategies such as simple infographics and meaningful anchors were proposed to bust the myth that 'recycling alone can solve the problem' and highlight the positive impact of reusables.

  4. In a follow-up workshop, these thought starters were categorised into three buckets: 'always on,’ 'in-the-moment nudges’, and 'game changers'. This segmentation helped develop a roadmap and align opportunities with existing products and client workstreams.

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