Innovations That Matter

Yoyo's recycling strategy involves building community ties | Photo source Yoyo

Startup develops a behavioural-change program for recycling

Sustainability

A French programme applies some of the same principles of organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous to help people recycle more

Spotted: Most people know they should recycle, but their good intentions can fall short when it comes to following through. French startup Yoyo is taking an innovative approach to this attitude, and are hoping to apply some of the behavioural change principles of organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers, to help people recycle more.

Yoyo connects participants with coaches, who distribute orange sorting bags to “sorters,” teach them how to recycle and encourage them to keep going. Both the sorters and coaches earn points, which they can use to purchase rewards, such as movie tickets. 

Sorters are connected with local coaches and bring recycling bags to their coach in person, which is intended to foster a community connection. The coach records the bags they receive on an app, and sorters can track the impact of both their community and themselves individually on their dashboard. When the coach has filled their storage space, Yoyo comes and collects the bags, to take to a recycling facility. 

Yoyo also helps to build communities in a variety of ways. They organise local events and the meetings of coaches and sorters in different neighbourhoods. As the rewards available also tend to be local (such as craft workshops or theatre shows), members can build community connections in a variety of ways. Yoyo believes that this building of community ties will also help to sustain a long-term commitment to recycling.

Over the past two years, the Yoyo community has grown to include 450 coaches and 14,500 sorters.  But this is not the only organisation exploring innovative ways to encourage recycling. At Springwise, we have seen ideas that range from an app that gamifies litter collection, to a Japanese town pulling together to reach zero-waste.

Explore More: Sustainability Innovations

Website: yoyo.eco

Contact: yoyo.eco/contact

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