IAs a modern city Seoul has made a bold public statement with the building of the Seoul up-cycling plaza to encourage and boost green industries. The new facilities, spread over 16,500 square meters has a five story building and consists of work spaces focused on encouraging social enterprises (start-ups) and artists to engage in re-using and up-cycling waste to design new products.
Recycling system in residential buildings
During the field research in several residential buildings, we identified that existing recycling systems which were in place are used very well. The system divides waste into 11 different types. If recycling systems are in place, people will use these and look after. Residents are very aware of recycling practices and their importance.
No recycling system in place
On the streets, contrasting situations towards waste management were identified. The research revealed, that if no recycling system is in place, people just dump their waste on the street, which causes huge piles of waste. This leads to the finding that people need systems that guide them. If those systems are in place, people are motivated and disciplined to follow the rules.
Ideation started individually with two rounds. The first round focuses on 'creating awarness' while the second round questions how the user behaviour can be changed. Ideas were prototyped and discussed in the group which leads to a 'final' concept, that has been developed further.
The relationship map shows how different stakeholders are interlinked. The SUP produces and distributes reusable coffee cups to participating coffee shops around Seoul. People buy their re-usable cup at their first purchase with their coffee in the coffee shop. They can return the cup at any participating shop, no matter which brand. In return of the cup they get a physical or digital deposit coin which they can use for their next coffee.
To make people aware of the new service, small pop-up shops in the city could serve as pick-up and collection stations for cups. Not only the system but also the intention behind the project can be spread. These pop-ups will be runed by Seoul's Upcycling Plaza to also bring their service closer to the people.