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JOINT Fund series: The #Lollybin Part 2

18 July 2019

2 mins

Supported by the JOINT Fund initiative, Dr Vicky Lofthouse (Senior Lecturer, Institute for Design Innovation) and Dr Debra Lilley (Senior Lecturer, Loughborough Design School) co-created the #Lollybin – a coffee cup recycling method.

The #Lollybin resulted from a JOINT fund project, which drew on user-centred research and stakeholder analysis to identify, design and test behavioural change interventions to reduce single use coffee cup waste in Here East.

In conjunction with Loughborough Design School, Here East, Change Please & BT Sports, Vicky and Debra sought to optimise the collection of single use coffee cups in order to facilitate recycling. Research has shown that current systems fail to collect waste cups and those which are collected are often too contaminated to be recycled.

The indoor #Lollybin at Loughborough University London (image on the left) and the waste collected (image on the right).

Following user and stakeholder research, we designed a bin to accommodate and encourage the separation of the lid, cup and liquid, using affordances, constraints, social validation and visual messages in order to eradicate contamination and ensure correct separation for recycling.  Findings from a 1-month field trial where units were placed at locations in Here East, indicated that users understood how to effectively use the bin, as cups were stacked, lids slotted and liquid poured. Further, analysis of the collected material, concluded that the 731 cups collected from 2 test sites were of high enough quality as to be suitable for recycling.  he Outdoor unit in particular attracted a high degree of contamination in the ‘lids’ section, so further work will reflect on ways to reduce this.

The outdoor #Lollybin (image on the left) and the waste collected (image on the right).

The next steps for the project will be to investigate developing the bin for small scale manufacture and explore market feasibility.

Findings from the study include:

Cups collected


  • Espresso: 36
  • Flat white: 67
  • Medium: 229
  • Large:9

LU London

  • Espresso: 1
  • Flat white: 254
  • Medium: 112
  • Large: 23

Lids collected


  • Espresso: 1
  • Small: 39
  • Medium/Large: 169

LU London

  • Medium/Large: 75

Analysis of the cups by the site waste contractor indicated that the condition of the cups was suitable to enable recycling and that to be economically viable 1100 litre carts worth of coffee cups would need to be collected approximately every 3 weeks.

Find out more about this year’s JOINT Fund projects here.  

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