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Sparking movement through digital innovation utilizing Persuasive Technology as a way to obtain circular economy.


Summary / Résumé

It is undeniable that many people still do not participate on environmental preservation. That is despite the extensive efforts of the government and various organizations from different countries to address environmental issues. One example often ignored is recycling which plays an important role in circular economy. Despite having a number of recycling programs in the community where some have a strong word of mouth and good advertisements, recycling campaign still seems to be difficult.

According to Brian Iacoiello, Recycling is a behavior and the reason why it is hard for people to associate it in their daily habits is because the reward for recycling (saving the earth) and outcome for infrequent recycling (environmental damage) are seen not necessary and immediate. Furthermore, a 2011 research showed that the primary excuse people expressed for not recycling was the inconvenience and/or inaccessibility to their place. Other excuses are time-consuming, confusion on recyclable materials, not understanding the recycling’s benefit, and believing that recycling doesn’t make a difference considering it a low priority.

How do we deal with this challenge?

Proposed Solution: The GoGreen App

The GoGreen application is a mobile and web application that provides users a convenient, accessible, and affordable way to participate in recycling. Moreover, the app features the “LEARN” page educating its users about circular economy, recycling, and what could be recycled. The app will also have a social networking feature that will connect users to one another. Lastly, the highlight of the app is to allow users to earn cash from trash under the tagline: “TURN TRASH INTO CASH”. This can be achieved through a pointing system. The points earned can be converted into cash or a voucher which can be used to purchase products.

With this application, the team sees the opportunity to improve the waste management market, tracking country’s recycling rate, and innovate the recycling business.

What actions do you propose? / Quelles actions proposez-vous?


Encouraging everyone to have sincere concern to the environment is challenging. It is visible that over the past years, our world constantly undergoes drastic changes which is the result of our own actions. Until now, we continue to pay no heed to its effects. According to Seth Millstein, in his 2014 article to Bustle, 50 years from now, severe effects of global warming could make the Dead Sea completely dried up, the Amazon rainforest deforested, and polar ice caps to be 60 percent the size they are now. Moreover, the increasing temperatures could cause heat stress affecting human productivity. This will never be lessened unless we conserve our environment. Simple acts such as recycling can contribute a huge impact to our environment. But, how can we encourage everyone to participate in recycling? How can we motivate ourselves to participate in achieving circular economy?

We are proposing the development of a mobile and web application platform that will serve as the central technology for managing recyclable wastes obtained from the users. The main objective of the GoGreen team is to encourage even a twelve year old individual that uses smartphone to participate in recycling and the motivating factor is the reward they will get from using the app. The GoGreen application will follow the tagline: Turn Trash into Cash allowing its users to earn income from recycling.

The second objective is to provide the government, businesses, and citizens a traceable, trackable, waste management system that will help them see the general state of the recycling industry. The application could also be helpful in determining the recycling rate of the area or community bringing awareness to the people.

The third and last objective is to build connection and create a network of people that will work together in helping the society achieve circular economy. The application will allow its users to make their own initiatives in creating new environmental programs not only focusing on recycling but also in other environmental activities.

Further details on the application will be explained in the coming sections.



2.1 Accessibility and Convenience

According to research, accessibility and convenience contributes largely to the willingness of everyone to participate in circular economy. People become unmotivated due to the barriers that the current recycling practices raise. These barriers are collection method, distance to drop-off location, and the sorting of materials. However, this should be no longer an issue. With GoGreen Application, it enables its users to participate in recycling using their mobile phones and desktop. It can be used to contact the GoGreen team and set the date of pick up of the recyclable materials from their household.


2.2 Recycling Education

Lacking awareness and knowledge to the recycling industry is another factor affecting the motivation of everyone to participate in recycling. While there are specific groups that continue to become an advocate of environment and teaching everyone how to recycle, the rate of achieving a fully evangelized environmental program could be very difficult. That is because people will see it as time consuming. In this matter, the development of GoGreen mobile and web application is perfect as it will feature a “LEARN” section educating its users on how to recycle and what should be recycled. With the app, they can get a good background of the recycling industry. This will also help remove their confusion on what materials can be recycled.


2.3 Central Recycling Collection System

WIth the use of GoGreen application, it provides a centralized way of collecting recyclable materials from the household to the recycling companies. Unlike the traditional way of collecting wastes where sanitary trucks pick up trashes from the city or subdivision garbage bins, in GoGreen app, the GoGreen team will be the one responsible for collecting these materials. The collection will depend on the set date of the user and number of recyclable materials to be submitted. With this application, it creates a proper and clear system on the flow of recyclable wastes. Moreover, it also helps in determining the recycling rate of a particular city. This will further raise awareness to the citizens.


Considered as the highlight and top benefit of using the app, specifically to its users, is its TURN TRASH INTO CASH program. By using GoGreen app, it allows its users to earn cash (through a pointing system) by collecting recyclable materials. Also, it gives the users the option to change cash into vouchers where they can use it to purchase in the supermarket, coffee shops, food stores, and transportation. The GoGreen team strongly believes that this will motivate and encourage  its users and everyone to participate in circular economy.



The pointing system applies to the TURN TRASH INTO CASH program of the GoGreen mobile and web application. This section explains how the users could earn cash through the different recyclable materials. It should be noted that to be able to participate in this program, the user must create a GoGreen account.

There are a number of items that must be taken into consideration in the GoGreen App’s pointing system.


3.1 Type of Recyclable Materials

Every year the GoGreen team will release a list of the different types of recyclable materials which the users can collect to submit. Each recyclable material has an equivalent number of points depending on its type. Only the materials included in the approved list will be accepted by the team and will be granted points.

Here’s the current list of accepted recyclable materials:


3.2 Number of Recyclable Materials

The GoGreen team requires the user to gather a certain number of recyclable materials depending on its type before being being accepted for collection. Users will only be able to book a schedule once they have achieved the minimum number of recyclable materials per category. Usually, lightweight materials require a higher count than that of the heavyweight materials. Moreover, submitting recyclable materials do not mean a guaranteed point for each as it has to undergo verification.

The below table presents the required number of recyclable materials to be gathered per category to be qualified for GoGreen collection as well as earn points. This means that to earn 2 points, the user must submit a minimum required count of 20 recyclable materials under the Rigid Plastics or Tins and Aluminum cans category.

3.3 Verification of Recyclable Materials

The verification of recyclable materials comes next after the recyclable materials are collected from the user. Verification on lightweight and heavyweight materials is done on the user’s site. However, If the count exceeds the Minimum Required Count (MRC), the materials will be carefully checked inside the GoGreen warehouse. Until approved then the equivalent number of points will be registered to the user’s account.


3.4 Point Conversion

Converting to cash or voucher can be done after the minimum number of points has been achieved per cash or voucher target. The user will not have the capability to convert points to cash or voucher if below the minimum points. An example is presented in the chart below:







4.1 THE GoGreen LOGO

The GoGreen application logo will have apple green as its main color to carry its brand as an environmental app. Example of GoGreen logo designs are:

4.2 Features and Functionalities

GoGreen app will be developed as a social media platform that contains the following features:

  • Enabling users to create account with personal dashboard

  • Communicate to other recyclers by having a central place of communication. The user will have news feed containing Recycling Updates

  • Create a marketplace allowing users to buy and sell recycled and recyclable products (online junkshop)

  • Send private messages to other recyclers or a GoGreen worker after booking

  • Allow users to create initiatives and connect to possible sponsors and investors

  • Learn about Recycling by going to the LEARN section of the app

The GoGreen app will be both available in iOS and Android systems. Furthermore, it will also allow its users to use GoGreen app in their desktop by accessing the website. This is to ensure flexibility and enable those who do not have smartphones to still use the application.

Which types of stakeholders are involved, in which way? / Quels types de parties prenantes sont impliqués, de quelle façon?

The GoGreen app has a vast number of stakeholders. These people play a complete role for the app’s success:


1. Regular Application Users

Regular application users play an important role in achieving success of the application. That is because the main purpose of the GoGreen app is to encourage everyone to participate in circular economy. The success will come from its users who are placed on the top rank of the hierarchy. Circular economy must begin from its users. If the users who have downloaded the app have consistently shown active participation to the projects that the GoGreen team tirelessly initiates and a significant improvement on recycling rate is achieved then it just signifies fulfillment for the team.


2. Manufacturing and Recycling Companies

The second stakeholder are the manufacturing and recycling companies. The purpose of developing the app is not only encourage everyone to work on achieving circular economy but also to help business who are involved in the recycling industry. The GoGreen team aims to be leading choice and supplier of recyclable materials to these companies.


3. Government

The Government lists next as it plays in helping to promote the application. Through campaigns and advertisements made by politicians, the GoGreen app will become visible to the market. Moreover, another purpose of the app is to provide the Government insights and statistics on the current state of the country in terms of recycling. With their participation, the app could easily be evangelized.


4. Investors

Lastly, future investors who see recycling as one of the best ways to promote environmental conservation. With the help of these investore, the GoGreen team will be able to fund their projects and maintain their system. A certain percentage of shares will be given to the investors depending on the agreement.

How could the actions be scaled up at the neighborhood or city level? / Comment serait-il possible d'augmenter la portée des actions à l'échelle des quartiers ou de la ville?

Wastes are everywhere so it is not difficult to scale up to the neighborhood or city level. The best thing about GoGreen is it is a mobile and web application which the users can use to track their collected recyclable wastes and sell it to the GoGreen team to earn points. The challenge rises in the marketing aspects. Since GoGreen application is new to the market, it has to be effectively promoted.


1. Refer-A-Friend and earn points

This marketing strategy that the GoGreen team sees to increase the number of users is by implementing a referral program. In this program, The user will be provided a referral code which he could use to invite potential users of the app. If successful, then the user who has successfully referred a friend will earn points.


2. GoGreen Incentive Program for weekly recyclable wastes targets

In this strategy, regular users of the app will be able to participate to the GoGreen Incentive Program. Every two weeks, the GoGreen team will release certain number of recyclable wastes targets per category that if achieved by the user will then be granted additional points or a voucher.


3. GoGreen Recylethon

GoGreen Recylethon is a yearly competition on marathon in collecting recyclable materials with a goal to help in further encouraging everyone to participate in circular economy. Winners are given certain cash prize and awards.


4. Online Marketing 

Since the use of social media has been constantly increasing, the GoGreen team plans to promote the app by using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and post current updates on the programs that the team is implementing. This will be very helpful in further promoting the product.


5. GoGreen Pranks

The GoGreen pranks is another promotional campaign that uses pranks as a way to encourage everyone to use the GoGreen app. Currently the Press the Red Button is seen as the first GoGreen prank to be done in different cities in a particular country. A live drama concerning the environment will be presented to whoever presses the red button.

6. GoGreen International Recycling Fair and Bazaar

The GoGreen International Recycling Fair and Bazaar is a 2-day event hosted yearly by the GoGreen team with the goal to gather everyone particularly recyclers, business owners, and people who are interested in recycling to network, exchange ideas, buy recycled products and build community. This aims to promote awareness to the environment and increase the chances of achieving Circular Economy.

What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change? / Quels impacts auront ces actions sur la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre et l'adaptation aux changements climatiques?

The GoGreen app does not have direct impact on reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions but with the app, it mobilizes the users to participate in circular economy which could greatly help in reducing the greenhouse levels in the environment. The GoGreen team will exert much effort to encourage everyone to use the app. This way reduction on greenhouse gas emissions will be visible. Further, if the app will be used regularly and people are motivated to participate in circular economy, high volume of recyclable wastes will be redirected from landfill. Furthermore, people will eventually learn to practice proper recycling.

On the other hand, it terms on adapting to climate change, the GoGreen application contains educating features that could provide an impact in shifting human behavior to address climate change. The GoGreen team aims to posts updates containing videos with heavy in graphics to give awareness on the possible effects of climate change if not addressed properly.

With GoGreen mobile and web app, the team foresees the following changes it will catalyze:

  1. Increased number of initiatives to create community to address climate change from users

  2. Increased awareness on recycling and environmental conservation

  3. Improved recycling rate of the country

The team strongly believes that the GoGreen app can do more than recycling and encouraging users to participate in Circular economy. In the future, they see its expansion in addressing different environmental programs such as tree planting and energy consumption.

What are the other environmental, economic or social benefits? / Quels sont les autres bénéfices environnementaux, économiques et sociaux?

1. Environmental Benefits

The GoGreen application itself does not have direct environmental benefits. It will not stop global warming, melting of polar ice caps from the north, deforestation of forests, or even the drying up of rivers. But, with GoGreen app, it helps in mobilizing everyone to reduce the negative phenomenon in our society. We do not always have to rely on heavy machineries to stop the adverse effects of climate change. Why? Because it has to start within us. We should be the one to move. With the app the GoGreen team hopes to see everyone participating in recycling to achieve circular economy and help our environment improve and restore its healthy state. This way our environment can benefit from the app.

2. Economic Benefits

The main contribution of the GoGreen application to the country’s economy is the improvement of the country’s recycling rate and reputation when it comes to environmental preservation. As stated in earlier section, the GoGreen app has a tracking feature that could help in determining the current state of the community, city, or country toward achieving circular economy. Also, it encourages everyone to participate in circular economy. Another benefit is the creation of jobs. The GoGreen team believes that recycling can create a thousand jobs and business opportunities for everyone. Lastly, it can help the government save in waste disposal costs. This way the application is providing economic benefits.

3. Social Benefits

The first social benefit of the GoGreen app is the provision of opportunities to its users to earn cash by participating in circular economy. This is achieved by promoting the Turn TRASH into CASH program. It is noticeable that  this program is mentioned many times because the GoGreen team wants to keep its branding and goal in encouraging everyone to use the application when released in the future. Another social benefit is the capability for its users to sell recycled products that will help them earn income.

What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach? / Quels sont les aspects novateurs et les principales forces de cette approche?

GoGreen Application as Disruptive Innovation

The GoGreen application is seen an example of disruptive innovation. Disruptive Innovation is a type of innovation that introduces a new value, product, or business to the market and eventually overtakes the existing one. The development of the GoGreen app is proposed to transform and digitize the scrap trading and junk shop business and eventually become a leading environmental app involved in circular economy. This approach will create an impact as we are rapidly moving into the digital world.


WORKING TOWARDS INNOVATION: The Strengths and Innovative Aspects of Going Digital in Circular Economy

Now that we are already in the world of smartphones, big data, internet of things, and digital transformation, it is time to innovate our approach to achieve circular economy. This way, we are not only catering to a limited number of people but everyone around the world. With GoGreen app, we are providing a solution, an innovative approach, to achieve circular economy and we are offering users the following innovative aspects in the recycling industry. These innovative aspects are also considered as the application’s strengths:

  • Digital process (booking, collection, and earning)

  • Convenient and accessible

  • Trash ? Digital Points = Cash/Voucher

  • Online Junk shop

  • Central Mobile and Web App for tracking recycling rate

  • Social Media Integration

  • Initiative development (allows users to create a community where people work on a particular environmental project)

What are the proposal’s projected costs? / Quels sont les coûts projetés de la proposition?

The GoGreen team views the economic costs of this proposal as investments as it could yield to a good ROI in the succeeding years.


  1. Investments varies across time as the project progresses.

  2. Other costs such as travel expenses, business registration, business office construction, legal costs are not considered as they are subject to the agreement and alignment with the Climate CoLab.

  3. The below prices are based on estimates and may change in time

The development of the application will be done by third party vendors to ensure that the application remains with high quality. The GoGreen team has prospective developers already.

What are the potential challenges or obstacles? / Quels sont les défis ou les obstacles potentiels?

The GoGreen team sees the following as potential challenges or obstacles:

1. Marketing and promotion - Since the application will be completely new to the market, it is impossible to spread the word about the GoGreen app in just one night.

2. Application Costs - The development, maintenance, and support of the application requires certain amount of capital which the GoGreen team needs to implement it. The team hopes to get funding from the Government and future investors.

3. Application Developers - Currently, the GoGreen team has a chief visionary. While there is already a prospective team who will develop the app, the team has to make sure that the app maintains its quality.

4. Application Delivery - The development of the application is not discussed on this document. The paper is mainly focused on proposing the development of GoGreen app. This means that it could take 6 months, if selected, before the application becomes available to the public.

5. Public Acceptance - One of the main reasons why startups or businesses fail is due to the fact they are not well accepted by the public and is seen unnecessary. However, with the support of the government and businesses, it could be easily promoted and evangelized.

About the authors / À propos des auteur(e)s

Hadrean Ocampo is a Junior DevOps Consultant of an IT company based in Denmark. In his two years of working experience, he has involved himself in different projects from different business sectors.  He holds a 2:1 (Upper Second Class) classification in BS (Honours) Computer Science. He is passionate about teaching and inspiring young professionals and developing business ideas in relation to social entrepreneurship. He continuously involves himself to different conferences and activities that will fuel his motivation and harness his knowledge to create a positive change and impact.

Last March 2018, Hadrean was accepted to be part of the Asia-Pacific Innovation Academy with an offer of 100% scholarship. The program will teach him how to start his startup, giving him an understanding of the business landscape.

Hadrean’s main strength is building good relationship and connection to the people around him. With this he has gained strong network which he sees would help him in his endeavor.


References / Références


The below lists presents the references and inspiration that the GoGreen team have used to complete this business proposal.

1. Recycling Dilemma:

2. Recycling in Canada:

3. A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn't Recycled:

4. The Psychology Behind Why People Don’t Recycle:

5. Nine in Ten Adults Recycle, But only have Do so Daily:

6. Cost to Develop a Mobile Application:

7. Cost to Develop a Website Application:

8. Savvy Apps: How much does an APP Cost:

9. How much does a WEB APP Cost:

10. Why do Consumers like retail apps:

11. Recycling and Waste Diversion Effectiveness: Evidence from Canada:

12. Number of Smartphone Users Worldwide:

13: Mobile Technology: The Amazing impact on our lives:

14. Smartphone Use in Everyday Life and Travel:

15. Exploring Disruptive Business Model Innovation for the Circular Economy: