Recycling + Shopping Experience

What if the supermarket considers not only selling items but also disposing of wastes?

Yuneui (Yunnie) Choi
3 min readJul 31, 2018
Recycling + Shopping Experience

The innovation of customers’ shopping experience

Some companies are trying to simplify the shopping experience or building trust between customers and products. For example, ’Amazon go’ solved the customer’s main pain point in the store. Most of the customers spend a long time in the queue with carrying heavy stuff. However, Amazon suggested automated checkout service to solve this. They created the world’s most advanced shopping technology, so we never have to wait in line.

Introducing Amazon Go and the world’s most advanced shopping technology

Also, IBM Food Trust builds the trust with growers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, retailers and customers. The customer can chase the distribution structure of items and ingredients as well. Powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform, IBM Food Trust directly connects participants through permission, permanent and shared record of food origin details, processing data, shipping details and more.

Walmart’s food safety solution using IBM Food Trust built on the IBM Blockchain Platform

Likewise, the development of technologies has created innovative shopping experiences. In this post, I will suggest another new shopping experience with adopting one of the new technologies. For improving customers’ experience in the shop, I connected shopping and disposing of wastes. Because, in my opinion, most of the wastes are from the supermarket. And I also have trouble with separating wastes in the UK. So, here’s my provocation. What if supermarket checkout system calculates not only the price but also calculate the percentage of ingredients in the package and divide my items’ package in general waste and recycle waste?

Consider the environment in the process of manufacturing, purchasing, and recycling.

Considering the waste disposal in the store, Waitrose Sustainable

Waitrose is a luxury supermarket in England. Like any supermarket, it sells and manufactures things, conducts campaigns related to the environment such as using recyclable packagings and stopper cleaning products and micro-beads. So, I chose this supermarket as an example of my project.

The Waitrose Way — Packaging and Recycling

‘Food Trust FrameWork’ system was considered as a reference. If all information about products can be stored in the blockchain system, how about the information about packages? Then the supermarket uses an automated sorting system and provides customers with the information of waste sorting about their purchase in the store.

Additionally, based on the interview, many British people are having difficulties in separating the waste properly because some of them are mixed with serval different materials, so even they have the same colour of the plastic, it might have different ingredients. Therefore, the citizens should read carefully about the chart attached to the package. This step is quite annoying, so many people sometimes ignore it and this is the opportunity which can be improved.

Concept image — Waitrose Sustainable

Here is my small project ‘Waitrose sustainable’. During the package manufacturing process, the ingredients are input into a QR code or a barcode. And the scanning items process, the system will categorise the wastes correctly and send it to the consumer’s mobile app.

Service Blueprint

As a result, customers can easily dispose of the waste by following the instruction in the app. Moreover, the company will expand their area beyond sales into the entire human’s consumption process, and the government can reduce the budget for dealing with garbages.



Yuneui (Yunnie) Choi

I’m a service experience designer who loves innovative technology, human-centred goodness and collaborative work. Currently based in Seoul, South Korea.