Environmentalist start-up Consciously Aware won a £10,000 R&D grant from leading UX design agency Creative Navy. Together, the partner companies plan to create a consumer facing mobile app which would vastly improve the efficiency of the recycling process.
Consciously Aware is a green startup founded by two London university students. Its purpose is to solve the problem of contamination among recyclables. In order to accomplish their goal, they have begun a research program alongside Creative Navy. Its aim is to help them determine a framework that effectively supports people as they change their recycling habits.
"Our vision is to go beyond general advice and to provide people with specific and detailed information on how well they recycle," stated co-founder Léon Piclet. "As consumers, we can feel powerless to make significant changes in how we tackle serious environmental issues individually. The Consciously Aware app will empower the consumer by educating them and facilitating green choices."
Current kerbside collection methods rely on householders understanding what can and cannot be recycled, which leaves plenty of room for human error. There’s also the additional problem of deliberate and accidental contamination of recyclable materials, which often means that entire lorries of contaminated recyclable material are sent to the landfill. Contamination is the biggest threat to the financial viability of the recycling industry.
"Recycling is a complex process with many stakeholders, and technology is the best way to bridge the gaps. We want to make recycling more efficient by creating a system that evolves and helps people adapt in time" said co-founder Matteo Colledan. "In fact, we believe that, armed with better knowledge from the Consciously Aware app, consumers will make different consumption choices. This will create a ripple effect, which will influence press product manufacturers, retailers, and ultimately local and national government to make the changes necessary for us all to consume in a sustainable way."
Consciously Aware’s mobile app would make it possible for householders to receive real-time updates on their recycling habits and performance. It will be capable of calculating the volumes of waste generated, and the contamination rates for each recycling bag or bin. The app’s purpose is to prevent contaminated items from spoiling the recycling effort of the household and the community.
The grant is part of Creative Navy’s CSR program, designed to help start-ups apply digital technology to solve major societal problems. Dennis Lenard, CEO of Creative Navy, stated that: "We can only find effective solutions to our most pressing challenges if we allot the resources necessary for experimentation. Sadly, this is considered unappealing by most investors. Through our program, we seek to help promising ideas get to the point of development at which seed investors can take over and mature the product. We do our part without taking a percentage because we believe that innovators need freedom to grow."
About Consciously Aware
Consciously Aware is a green start-up focusing on reducing individual carbon footprint through real-time data-driven solutions by creating a digital bridge between recycling centers and households. Combining the technical and social aspects of sorting waste at source, aiming to reduce the cost of waste contamination on the environment, businesses and society. Within our research and development team, we’re Implementing artificial intelligence and sensor technologies into existing infrastructures to record and track individual's waste movements along the supply chain.
About Creative Navy
Creative Navy is a UX design consultancy with offices in London, Berlin and Basel. It supports clients in the creation of digital products that are meaningful to people, be they consumers or professional users. Their design practice has a global client base and extensive experience across the technology landscape, with expertise that includes design for embedded systems, unusual devices, IoT and web based apps.