Skip to main content

Plastics Hub awarded funding for UCL's Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing

Several researchers from UCL's Plastic Waste Innovation Hub have been awarded funding to undertake research under the “Wellbeing in a Throw-away Culture” initiative, part of UCL Grand Challenges.

The research project, titled “Wellbeing in a Throw-away Culture: Applying behavioural science and systems mapping to optimise development of an intervention promoting reusable cup use,” aims broadly to examine the uptake and use of reusable coffee cups across UCL's Bloomsbury campus.

To help achieve UCL’s sustainability aim of being single-use plastic free by 2024, UCL plans to implement a campus-wide intervention to promote reusable coffee-cup use. Given this is a type of behaviour change intervention, we believe the design and evaluation of the scheme can be optimised by drawing on theories, methods, and evidence from the behavioural and systems sciences. Ahead of a planned pilot in May 2020, we will conduct theory-based qualitative interviews with UCL staff and students to investigate the social context, barriers/enablers to implementing change, and factors influencing current reusable-cup use behaviours. We also wish to collect quantitative data by conducting spatial movement analyses of hot drink consumers ‘on the go’.

This research will yield important quantitative data such as: a) the distance travelled by cups; b) specific places on campus where reusable-cup consumers frequent; and c) the ‘peaks’ in hot-beverage consumption. It is our intention to use both qualitative and quantitative data to inform strategic design choices about our intervention.

Watch this space for more news as the project takes shape.

(Image: Ruby Wright)

View all news