An app that could potentially reduce 66 million tons of plastic waste and save the lives of 1 million sea creatures.

Blue ++ is a mobile application that helps reduce an individual's plastic footprint in the environment by encouraging the use of sustainable plastic alternatives and in return rewards users with discounts and coupons at their favorite takeout places.

My Role

User researcher
Design Strategist
UI Designer



Key Deliverables

Concept ideation
User research
Design strategy
Information architecture
Visual design
Usability testing


4 weeks


Adobe XD
Premiere Pro


Single-use plastics are damaging our ecosystem. People know it but still do not take measures

We are surrounded by plastic everywhere, though it is harmful to our environment, we use them on a daily basis. It is one of the causes of ecological imbalance on earth. We dump approximately 1 garbage truck of plastic packaging in oceans per minute and it is said to increase by 2 in 2030.

The information provided is per year in 2016. Source:


How might we help people make conscious decisions about usage of single-use plastics and help reduce overall plastic footprint in the environment?


Use sustainable alternatives, upload pictures and receive discounts

Users can upload pictures of any reusable alternative they possess from the list and receive a sticker with QR code. This can be scanned at select take out stores to receive discounts on their purchase every time they carry their item.

Compete with friends, family and the world for the least plastic footprint title

Everytime a user scans the QR code at stores, a record of the plastic avoided in grams is added to the user’s profile. This way they can compete with others on the leaderboard to reach the top as the environmental superhero.



People are unaware about their plastic footprint

I conducted the first round of interviews and a series of experiments to understand how people perceive living with plastic waste.




People knew they were producing a lot of plastic waste but didn’t know how much quantity they were generating.

They understand the depth of the problem but they aren’t motivated enough to do anything out of the ordinary.

There is no reward associated with doing a task that is not beneficial to the users in a shorter run.


I handpicked a target group, studied them and implemented a process in which the users were taken from start of the problem to end of the solution. I was inspired by the 3A’s strategy of language development. Metaphorically there were similarities in language learning and habit forming models, hence I incorporated the 3A’s strategy in this scenario to create a habit of carrying their own reusable alternative.

Making people aware of their plastic usage - Autonomy

I designed a pocket size tally sheet in the form of a business card that contains the tally of commonly used plastics and handed it over to 12 people. The target audience were students and young professionals as they tend to purchase takeout orders a lot. I received back the cards after a week and the observation was that people were starting to notice their usage patterns and realizing the problem.

Educating people about the plastic problem - Awareness

I created an audio-visual piece to bring awareness about existing single-use plastics and how their day-to-day usage is impacting at a larger scale.

Providing a way for people to take measures - Action

One interesting strategy considered for this purpose is using a model of peer pressure. It is known to compel people to do tasks that they generally tend to ignore. Another interesting strategy considered was providing small rewards for even less involvement drives them both intrinsically and extrinsically to further contribute to the cause.


A blue theme for admiring the oceans

The theme is inspired by the oceans as this project is about reducing plastic that is being dumped in oceans and in turn helping the sea creatures survive.

An app to get rewards, track your progress and compete with peers

The idea here is to build a mobile application that rewards users for carrying their own sustainable alternatives to plastics at take-out stores. Also, in order to make this a habit and maintain retention of the app, I made use of successful psychological models such as peer pressure, gamification and empathy to create a fruitful proposition.

Let's take an example of Wilson's journey:

Notification: Peer pressure

Wilson gets a notification when his friend saves plastic and shows how far behind he is from his friend. The main screen of the app also shows this information, thus inducing peer-pressure.

Competition: Gamification

Wilson will be able to compete with not only his friends but people from all over the world to reach the top as an environmental superhero.

Saving lives: Empathy

Wilson gains a sense of achievement when his task of taking the first step in avoiding plastic has a direct implication on saving a living being.

An easy task flow to register items and track progress


Everyone's a winner!

The stakeholders involved are users and cafe/restaurant businesses. Everyone involved has a hand in contributing to the cause in their own way and still individually be benefited out of this app. Users would receive discounts just for using their own reusable alternatives whereas businesses would attract traction through the app and as well proudly announce that they support such a huge social cause.


“Blue++ has a potential to make a difference in people’s mentality towards consumption of single-use plastics. New York City would definetely need this intervention.”

- Richard The, Associate professor at Parsons School of Design, Ex-Google

“This app is very engaging and I want to use it to compete with my friends.”

- Harpreet Sareen, Associate professor at Parsons School of Design, Ex-MIT


1. Usability testing and iterating

Prioritizing the important aspects of the app and doing usability testing to test interactions and the ease of understanding the interface. Iterating with feedback and creating compelling designs that are production ready.

2. Chat with take-out business owners

Talking to business owners and incorporating their perspective into the app so as to get their engagement with the cause.