We want Abidjanais to deposit bottles in the Coliba kiosk so that they are reused and recycled.


Cote d’Ivoire

Scaling up recycling services outside of the home

288 tons of plastic waste is produced everyday in Abidjan. Coliba, an Abidjan-based startup supported by GSMA, is a pioneer of plastic bottle recycling in Côte d’Ivoire. Leveraging their smartphone app, consumers can request home collection of recyclable plastic in return for points that can be redeemed for prizes. GSMA approached 17 Triggers to collaborate on a four-week design sprint with the goal to increase the amount of plastic collected, make processes more efficient, and to explore new consumer recycling touchpoints.  

The team started with a round of interviews with current users, mapping the typical journey of plastic bottles and comparing digital and non-digital customer journey options.

Shadowing is a method to understand the bottle collector’s pain points and peaks. 

We spoke with the people of Abidjan to better understand their attitudes when it came to recycling and began to pinpoint key barriers. We quickly realized that the value proposition for using Coliba’s app appealed to a small group of high income people, but that in fact they were not the ones who would be engaging with the Coliba collectors. Most people already recycled through the informal bottle collector network, however they did not know this was recycling and only did so because the informal collectors gave them financial incentives.

Meeting the customer on their terms

We headed back to the field with prototypes to better understand how to position the value proposition of recycling for a better planet when marketing Coliba’s service. From our key insights, we agreed that the greatest opportunity to add value was to test different bottle collection approaches at a key public transport location.

The new solution focused on creating awareness of the need to recycle through school education campaigns and developing convenient bottle drop points in areas of high foot traffic where people would buy drinks in plastic bottles and then discard them on the floor. We tested events, games, prizes and free perks that resulted in more customers dropping off plastic bottles, excited to receive these rewards.

Testing a new channel strategy with Coliba’s team.

Through research and prototyping, 17 Triggers and Coliba drew up a service blueprint to implement new mobile kiosks for bottle collection in high-traffic areas, greatly increasing the yield of plastic bottles. The initial core strategy focused on how Coliba can have the greatest impact at La Deux, one of the biggest transport hubs in Abidjan, and a strategy expansion detailed how Coliba might replicate and build upon the core strategy over time.

In addition, Coliba’s team were equipped with a variety of new research methods to facilitate further learning and iteration on their own, as they rolled out their new approach, helping Cote d’Ivoire forward on its journey towards environmental sustainability.