lars coumans during dutch design week

student projects

Colours help spark our creativity, provide supportive feelings, and help us remember better. It's time to leverage that power towards recycling.

lars coumans during dutch design week

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Read Lars Coumans' story about his project that he has done during Dutch Design Week 2021, in Eindhoven. The project is in collaboration with Packadoor and is currently being displayed at YKSI expo until the 23rd of October, be quick!

Giving colour to recycling

Recycling has always been focused on creating a better environment around us. Recycling helps us sort trash into different categories so we can reuse the materials. But why do so many people still not recycle? One affect that I have found is that it’s still too difficult. Confusion surrounding materials and bins create hinderance. By tapping into human behaviour psychology, I have found that colour influences our behaviours. One being our recall and ease of use. A study by Dr. Montazeri portrays the effect of recall on coloured recycled bins instead of grey ones.

As such, colour creates ease of use and improves memory. Using Fogg Behaviour Model (Behaviour = trigger + ability to do it + motivation), I understood that trigger and ability was the main reason for why people didn’t recycle.  

By overcoming this specific barrier of ‘trigger’ and ‘ability to do it’, I got inspiration from the matching child blocks and added a simpler version.

By colouring both the product and the bin they are placed in, we can all match the specific recyclables. Not only will this reduce effort of knowing what goes where. But you have specific compartments for specific trash that you can easily remember.  

Dutch Design Week is a beautiful event in Eindhoven where thousands of people attend. During this event I hope to inspire packaging companies that realizing this can be easy to be implemented. Additionally, I aim to nudge everyone viewing my project into the right direction of a no- trash society.


Lars Coumans