It’s Inexcusable Be Reusable

Vancouver

It’s Inexcusable Be Reusable

Shifting consumer preferences for bringing a reusable drink container and helping them in their push to reduce the number of single-use items consumed by the city on a day to day basis.

School:

UBC

Department:

Economics

Course:

ECON 364

Instructors:

  • Catherine Douglas

City of Vancouver:

  • Julie LeBlanc

Student Team:

  • Madeline Best
  • Louise Ung
  • Jeremy Bushell
  • Victoria Kim

Strategy:

  • Greenest City Action Plan

City goal area:

  • Zero Waste

Term:

Spring 2019

Summary

We successfully created two social media campaigns, both with a focus on community-based marketing. Our project goal was to create a campaign to encourage consumers and producers to reduce the use of single-use cold cups, as per the City of Vancouver’s Reduction of Single-Use Items (SUI) Strategy.

The project aimed to resolve the problem identified by the City of Vancouver in two ways. First, the general research and literature review undertook in developing the final project was aimed at understanding the issues that consumers may have with embracing the concept of bringing their own reusable containers for cold drinks. Second, this project identified specific cold beverage vessels that utilize a significant amount of plastic in their production, with the thought that targeting these packages and the beverages that come in them with our project would bring the greatest benefit to our community partner. Combining this knowledge and research should provide the City of Vancouver with enough information to enact a successful marketing campaign to shift consumer preferences for bringing a reusable drink container and help them in their push to reduce the number of single-use items consumed by the city residence on a day to day basis.

A hypothetical social media campaign was created that requires relatively little financial investment, with a significant impact on tech-savvy communities, who are the target consumer population as they are the ones who have the means to afford the reusable goods and sustain such a lifestyle. The quantitative and qualitative results not only support the campaign, but also provide useful information for organizers and suppliers interested in entering this market and movement. In addition to the campaign, businesses are recommended to price their reusable cups at a market price averaging between $9-11 CAD. We also recommend they have a selection of aesthetically pleasing cup designs and more flexible cup sizes, which would not only fuel sales, but also act as an incentive for individuals to engage in the social media campaigns. This creates a positive cycle that allows for the program to expand.