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Tiffany Chen, Brown University Class of 2018
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Create a program to recycle ice cream tubs in Europe
Questionmark International Food Manufacturer
Small pic ice cream scoop

A lot of ice cream is sold through in-home channels like supermarkets. However, Out Of Home (OOH) scooping, or buying a large tub to scoop from at home, is becoming more popular every day. In OOH scooping, 4.5 liter polypropylene (PP) tubs are used and are generally disposed of after use. This creates a huge waste of PP which could be easily recycled and re-used.

Recycling rates in Europe differ immensely for PP, with Italy having a PP recycling rate of 36%, France sitting at 0%, and the Netherlands boasting a 95% PP recycling rate. This means lots of PP going to landfill and incinerators. We want to reduce this amount and protect the environment by creating a program to encourage the recycling of the 4.5 liter PP ice cream tubs.

Your task:

Create a system for consumers to return/recycle their used PP ice cream tubs

Your submission must include:

1. A written description of your system for recycling the PP tubs

2. A description of why your system is the most efficient/effective

3. (optional) A drawing, sketch, or mock up of your proposal

Things to consider:

- The customer would use the polypropylene 4.5 liter scooping tubs, currently in circulation, and then return them back into a system that ultimately sees them being refilled in the factory. This would act as a closed loop process for our own reusable packaging.

- What kind of incentives can we use to encourage customers to recycle the tubs?

- What are the benefits to our business of implementing the tub recycling system?

- How can we calculate the cost of this program to determine the profit/loss of implementing it?

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