Innovative Thinking for Organizational Development Project
The Issue At Hand
To start off, I will first present the issue at hand. The chosen issue is getting employees in Kash Money Logistics offices to subscribe to the idea of using only recyclable materials and to reduce the consumption of single use plastics both at home and in the office.
Reasons as to why I chose this specific issue
I will now provide reasons as to why I chose this specific issue. First, there are single-use plastics all around us and there seems to be no incentive to reuse or recycle these plastics. Secondly, I feel like everyone is waiting on the government or the big corporate platers and manufacturers to do something without them lifting a finger. Third, the natural environment is suffering tremendously as a result of our inactivity and less involvement in the fight to reduce the presence of single-use plastics. Fourth, reducing single-use plastics in the workplace is one step closer to establishing a global culture of awareness and concern for the environment.
How does this relate to me?
So, how does this relate to me? For this, I have 4 reasons. First, I have read and been a part of a community that believes that the world can be made a better place if plastics are eliminated from the natural world. At the moment, marine wildlife is at the mercies of the decisions we make today as humans. As a result, I found that we use a lot of plastics during the day in the workplace, a starting point for an innovative idea to reduce single-use plastics available. From my own experience, people want the convenience of using plastics for single uses without thinking about the consequences such actions have on the natural environment. I also have a desire to contribute positively to the betterment of the natural environment, a goal I can achieve by helping to reduce plastic waste in the environment.
I now move on to the research section. The following is the research I have done in order to attain a final solution to the aforementioned problem: The use of single-use plastics is increasing in popularity across the world. These plastics are toxic to the natural ecosystems that they damage, and they are a disagreeable sight to see. About 43% of the plastics consumed is discarded after only a single use, as per the findings of (Borrelle et al., 2020). Bags, bottles, trays, and food packaging are examples of items that we use on a regular basis. It’s readily available at supermarkets and other retail outlets.
It is also important that I mention the following. The use of these plastics has a significant impact on global warming (Haward, 2018). Consumer demand for action on plastic pollution has reached previously unheard-of levels as a result of the disastrous impact of plastic waste on our seas and natural environments. Every day, fresh pledges to minimize plastic waste and enhance product design in order to address “end of life” issues are made by businesses in response to public outcry. Despite the efforts of companies to reduce trash and promote recycling (Jia, Evans, and Van der Linden, 2019), the contents of rubbish bins frequently reveal a different story. It is become an addiction for individuals from all walks of life to engage in plastic pollution, despite the fact that it is a terrible threat to the health of our world.
This slide shows a global map of parts of the world where single use plastics have either been fully banned, partially banned, banned under consideration, or not banned at all. It is important to note that Africa and some parts of Europe are leading in the fight, despite being some of the lowest consumers of plastic by volume.
The global production of plastics versus laws introduced to check and monitor the same and the population increment over time is presented in this chart. The chart shows that global production has increased steadily over the years surpassing the population growth. Laws introduced to curb plastic production have only started to be effected from 2008 to date.
Next, I explain how I arrived at my idea. A market survey in the workplace with 40 employees in different age groups and gender in an attempt to discuss the commitment and interest on people to have less single-use plastics and to contribute to the idea by reducing individual consumption while in the office and at home. About 60% of the participants were highly interest and eager to begin. About 20% were somewhat interested. 15% showed sight interest. 5% were not interest at all.
Here, I will show how people conceptualize the problem and the proposed solutions.
In the THINK AND FEEL category:
Sustainability is very important
Recycling will make a difference in the world
Single-use plastics are worse than any other forms of plastics
Guilty when there is no opportunity to recycle
In the SEE category:
Climate change and environmental issues disregarded by policy makers
Confusing recycling labels and policies
Not enough people recycling
Organizations encouraging manufacture and use of single-use plastics
Images of marine life affected by plastics
In the HEAR category:
Confusing and unclear recycling labels and rules
Very hard to recycle plastics in the workplace
Climate change issues is a bit confusing
Individual efforts not enough to help reduce single-use plastics
Corporates have a bigger role than individuals
In the SAY & DO category:
Shares posters and news information regarding conservation
Reads rules on recycling
Avoids single-use plastics
Recycles all the time even when unsure
Sometimes goes for convenience above recycling
The PAINS are summarized as:
Hard to find recycling facilities and tools
The GAINS include:
Help in reducing pollution and waste
Encouraging others to join in creating sustainability
Better understanding of need for recycling
More ways to help the natural environment
The above came from all the surveys and past literature on the subject of single-use plastics and why people continue to choose convenience of using these plastic products over sustainability. An emerging issue is that recycling is still unclear and the rules are confusing.
In this section, I will provide information on the problem. The overall purpose is eliminating single-use plastics in the workplace and the primary design is to increase recycling and show the need to reduce the use of plastics. The secondary design is to promote a culture of sustainability through recycling and care for the natural environment. The main differentiator is the organizational culture. The organizational culture will impact how and why employees engage in the proposed culture of recycling and reduction of single-use plastics.
The process involved a rigorous exercise to come up with ideas to implement the proposed cultural change. We were able to narrow down to the following main ideas: Technology, organizational culture, social media, conventional recycling tools and equipment, and social influencers.
Here, I present some of the rigorous and difficult process of thinking and rethinking different ideas to come up with an acceptable solution.
We decided to use technology and mobile apps because of its ability to reach more people and to remain a constant in individual’s life. It also presents the advantage of lower cost, highest impact, innovativeness and uniqueness., and is aligned to organizational goals. Conventional ideas have generally failed to be effective.
This was another very time consuming and high intensity section that saw us come up with ideas and basic functions for the mobile app. We settled on: the use of a dedicated single-use plastic monitor app (iRecycle), specially designed for the organization and its affiliates. The way this will work is that the iRecycle app will help reduce individual plastic consumption and give open-display results for members of the organization to see. The app will then provide calculations and estimates for the entire organization compared to global figures. It will also provide sustainable alternatives that factor in cost and effectiveness given each users individual usage statistics. The idea is to create a culture of recycling and consciousness around the issue of reducing every user’s personal plastic footprint.
Here is an improved homepage and the start page in the app showing a user all of the available reuse, recycling, and reducing options.
Description of Prototyping Process
In this slide, I show how we arrived at a suitable idea to link the iRecyle app with the need to reduce single use plastics.
Improvements to the Prototype
After prototyping and testing, we made improvements by synchronizing individual information with the company in order to tally our efforts and come up with performance metrics.
Owing to the fact that the iRecycle app already exists, we only saw the need to hire a developer to reprogram the application in order to send individual statistics to the organization and to prioritize a recycling map over other forms of alternatives provided by the mobile app. The developer will provide more directions on how to make the app smoother for people to use it not just for the organizational aim but also for individual journey towards helping the environment. The funding for this would be provided by the organization as a part of its CSR journey and to fulfil its role in the community.
As a part of the follow up, it is expected that the overall culture of the organization will change to include more awareness to individual plastic footprint in the future.
To sum up, a simple every-day problem was taken and converted to an opportunity to make a difference through innovative designs. The prototype mobile app aforementioned will help many people and organizations to realize a vision that many hold dear yet have not been able to achieve. In the entire process, my experience has shown me that if we put in the effort and inventiveness, everything may be converted into something beautiful.
Thank you all for your time. I hope we all benefit from making our spaces better than we found them. I will now take any questions you may have.