Seeing an idea become reality is always gratifying, but finding out that the winning idea of our Big Bang Challenge 2010 continues to be a success story is even better.
The idea “THE END of polluting companies – Interactive recycling” suggested the creation of Ecopoints, interactive devices placed in key locations around cities. The main motivation behind recycling for users is that, by doing so, they obtain “eco-credits” for each recycled element, and these “eco-credits” can be accumulated and exchanged for prizes, offers and commercial benefits. This makes recycling something fun and advantageous for people who recycle.
The idea became reality, and today Ecopoints offer the following advantages:
- Share your recycling in social networks. Ecopoint devices are connected to the Internet and publish an automatic update in social networks showing how many bottles have been recycled and the environmental benefit a given user has created with his or her action.
- Automatically analyze recycled materials. Each Ecopoint classifies and compacts material, and users do not need to learn color classification systems or different recycling containers.
- Rankings are created to highlight users who recycle the most in shopping malls, universities and buildings, thus setting an example for other users.
- Recycle to win prizes such as cellphone top-ups, movie tickets, vouchers in 16 associated franchises, etc.
We spoke to the creator, ideator Camjim, who wanted to share with us everything he has achieved after receiving the 25,000 dollar prize in our Big Bang Challenge, thanks to which he was able to get his idea started.
Camjim gave us an update on his idea since then:
- There is now a team of 14 people working on Ecopuntos.
- They have recycled 670,000 packages in Latin America in the last few years.
- 182,000 people have taken part in Ecopuntos.
- They have a network of 32 Ecopuntos, installed in Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
- They have received several national and international awards: the last was received directly from Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, who awarded them the prize for start-ups granted by the National Employers’ Association (Asociación Nacional de Empresarios – ANDI) in 2013.
- They have published articles on the initiative in local and international media, and were selected by HuffingtonPost and Youth Service America among the 25 most influential and powerful young people in 2012.
- In 2013, the World Economic Forum selected them as a member of the Global Shapers community, for leaders under 30.
- To date, they have achieved aggregated sales of close to 340,000 dollars in a year and a half of commercial activity.
- They have involved 90% of the beverages sector in their project. (Coca-cola, Carrefour, Unilever, Tetra-Pak, among others.)
They have also decided to create a new spin-off, adapting their recycling technology to electronic waste in the USA, a 20 trillion dollar industry.
We were extremely happy at hearing Camjim’s words: “Quite simply, the ideas4all prize changed my life, and the lives of thousands of people around me.”
Ideas truly can become reality.