Convenient package-free groceries delivery service for time-poor users. Smart containers and trackers made package-free delivery of more variety of food possible and efficient.

Skills shown in this project:

User ResearchIdeationService DesignExperience prototypingUXUI

Awards & mentions:


1. Problem

Plastic packaging waste

Plastic packaging waste

  • 42% of plastic production is used for single-use plastic packaging and over 80% of them are not being recycled.
  • Plastic is poisonous to the environment, ecology, animal, and us
  • Recycling is not the ultimate solution as waste resources and pollution in the process are still harmful
The package-free shop is inconvenient

The package-free shop is inconvenient

  • It requires too much planning - bringing containers and portion planning ahead of heading to the shop
  • Laborious process within the store: refill your containers while not spilling, weigh, take note of product type & price, and pay
  • Opportunity to make refilling and paying in package-free shoppping easier

2. Background & Role

This is the final year design project for my degree

  • Student project with the freedom to choose a topic that you are interested in
  • Duration: 6 months
  • One-man project with assistance from the supervisor and lecturers

My role

  • Project manager
  • Researchers & Interview facilitator
  • Product, UX, UI, Service designer

3. How I got to the solution

Understanding user's need for convenience through desk and user research

Understanding user's need for convenience through desk and user research

  • Geolocation limitations: users don’t go to package-free shops frequently as there aren't any near where they live
  • Opportunity to make package free shops more accessible to them
  • People care about the environment to an extent: they will not drive for miles or pay a lot more for more sustainable products
  • How might we make package-free shopping more convenient, accessible, and affordable for busy users, while cost-effective to run?
Understanding the business challenges through expert interviews & desk research

Understanding the business challenges through expert interviews & desk research

  • Reverse logistics limitations: the current operation is labour intensive and requires extra footprint within a shop to store used containers
  • The current non package-free process allows automated handling which saves the company money
  • Opportunity to enable automated handling to save labour and storage cost
Understanding the technical challenges through desk research & expert Interviews

Understanding the technical challenges through desk research & expert Interviews

  • Perishable goods have limited shelf-life: Plastic packaging allows MAP which extent product shelf life and prevents food waste
  • Opportunity to make providing perishable good plastic free possible

4. How does it work

5. How it solves the problem

All-in-one platform maximising convenience

All-in-one platform maximising convenience

  • Reverse tackled the 2 enemies of sustainably living: customer’s need for convenience and its stigma of being unaffordable
  • Instead of making multiple trips to the farmers market, butchers, and package free-shops, customers can now replace most of their weekly supermarket delivery with these pre-packed orders all through the app, and pick them up all at home
Our containers enable a wider range of products to be sold package free

Our containers enable a wider range of products to be sold package free

  • The container has air-tight seals and air valves that enable modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and vents for breathability, keeping perishable produce fresh
  • The e-ink screen on them provides use and storage guidelines
Scalability makes the service affordable to more

Scalability makes the service affordable to more

  • Behind the scenes, the smart sensors and the tracking system enabled automated handling helping businesses scale up
  • They allow the business to pack orders, update information and track their resources automatically, which saves cost on storage and makes it affordable to more
Reverse Logistics - collecting used containers

Reverse Logistics - collecting used containers

  • Customers will receive notification reminders to return container
  • Alongside the tracker on the app, reward system and impact visualisation via the app also help educate the users on their impact and keep them engaged

6. Challenge

Remote testing

Remote testing

In-person testing was out of bounds during the pandemic. To work around that, instead of delivering containers to participants door steps in person, I created a storyboard with the re-enacted scenarios and captured participants’ feedback through zoom

Although remote testing limits the participant’s immersion in the concept, showing them the bigger picture through storyboard provides me with more comprehensive feedback

Didn't get many responses from shop owners

Didn't get many responses from shop owners

Unfortunately during the pandemic when every shop owner is busy adapting to people’s new way of shopping, I didn’t get many responses from interview requests. Hence, the project lacks practical operational insights from shop owners who are running the business

However, to make up for that constraint, I interviewed academics that have years of industry knowledge which gave me in-depth insights that are instrumental to the project

7. Impact



Empowered to dollar vote and push for systematic change


Service providers

Manage resources effectively and save costs in the longer term


Product providers

Better understand shoppers' behaviours and tailor products around demand


Industry & government

Make better products and policies to meet the rising demand for plastic waste reduction

8. Learnings

Let the user's needs lead

  • The different elements in the project keep pivoting based on user feedback. Thanks to all the iterations, the concept is getting closer to the user's needs for convenience
  • Experts give you more in-depth insights

  • Reaching out to and interviewing experts helped me understand the existing challenges in the real world and innovate from that
  • Made me understand the importance designer’s role to draw out insights from different stakeholders and connect the dots
  • Project managing

  • Clarifying ambiguity: due to the flexible nature of the project, a clear timeline and project planning are required to deliver all the different elements: tangible product, digital interface, and the service blueprint, in this project
  • System thinking

  • This project sparks my interest in looking at the bigger picture and understanding the context when designing
  • System thinking and service design are crucial to designing for a circular economy or sustainability, which I believe is the only way forward
  • See it in action