A 2023 student competition… for students from all over Europe!

In March, as every year, a student competition on the theme of the circular economy was organised at Infineo for students from the Institut Agro Dijon and Erasmus students from the University of Le Creusot.

On each day, the students were divided into 4 teams. They had a few hours to come up with a solution (a “nudge”) to motivate take-away or home delivery consumers to return their reusable tableware.

This theme was chosen because regulations in France and other European countries are pushing restaurants to offer reusable tableware, including for take-away, but the question of its return for reuse arises!

Here are the projects proposed by the different teams:

Team 1 proposes to create a year-long social media challenge, the #BringMeBack Challenge, in which participants must film themselves bringing back their reusable dishes in a humorous way. The 100 videos with the most likes win McDonalds collector items. The idea is to get participants into the habit of returning their packaging.

Team 2 plans an interactive terminal, common to all points of sale, which gives for each package brought back: a message of thanks, personal statistics (system of points and levels with discounts in restaurants) and a comparison between cities to motivate consumers. The system allows consumers to earn points on their loyalty card. The team proposes that outlets harmonise the reusable tableware in each city, and foresees a tax for restaurants that do not want to use this harmonised tableware. This tax would finance the collection of the dishes in the kiosks.

Team 3 devised a system of stickers on the packaging to encourage the return of the packaging, an “I’m coming back” application that allows points to be accumulated and a packaging return terminal, common to all packaging and points of sale. The accumulation of points allows the winner to win a cookie or a muffin in a random way. The terminal must be located in strategic points, not in restaurants, like the glass terminals.

Based on the laziness of consumers who order home delivery, Team 4 has devised a pizza box re-use system for Domino’s Pizza, in which each box brought back to the point of sale or during the next delivery gives points, which allow the winner to win a free pizza.

The “Give & Get” team has provided a deposit of €4 per piece of crockery when ordering take-away. The tableware is equipped with QR codes. When it is returned, it is eligible for benefits such as discounts in participating restaurants, information on the environmental benefits, the possibility of making a donation to an association, etc.

The Veni Vidi Vici team has chosen to install collection boxes in residential areas. When you bring in a package, you get a token to play a game on the spot: pinball or punching ball (hence the name of the project!). All restaurants participate in the same collection system. The benefits of the system are a reduction in the use of raw materials, but also an improved reputation due to positive consumer sentiment.

The Bringo team wants to create an application where you earn points when you return your packaging. Each time you order, you get a number, which allows you to collect points when you bring it back to the restaurant. The app sets up a competition between cities to get the most points.

Elicious is an application invented by the last team to present their project. With each dish reported I move up to the next level (from 1 dish = beginner member, to 10 dishes = elite member, and temporary member status for 3 dishes reported). Once in the “elite” category, the consumer has access to secret menus in the restaurants, a privilege highly appreciated by the gen-Z and promoted on social networks.

The Jury of professionals was composed of Margot Bloch (Net Zero Now), Stéphanie Maisonneuve, Delphine Barret and Julia Cecchini (Coca-Cola Europacific Partners) and Isabelle Severin (Institut Agro Dijon). The Jury awarded prizes to teams 2 and Elicious.

The objective has been achieved: to make all students aware of the issues of reduction, reuse and recycling!