Ze loop app creates everyday eco-heroes

Supplied photos
Supplied photos

The mobile app has close to 13,000 registered users in more than 150 countries.



by

Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Wed 18 May 2022, 10:56 PM

Last updated: Fri 20 May 2022, 1:09 PM

ZeLoop — a mobile app that motivates and guides consumers on waste collection — rewards consumers using prizes, building a community of everyday heroes sharing tips, achievement and experience.

“We want to make collecting fun, users of the application will play to earn in real life while caring about the environment,” said Eric Schaffner, founder and CEO, ZeLoop

“Based in the UAE, I could see day after day that plastic bottles don’t always end up in the right place to be recycled. ZeLoop, was born with the idea of applying the codes of telephone games to the collection of packaging in order to enhance the sorting gesture by means of the blockchain,” said Schaffner.

ZeLoop intends to shift the protection of the environment circular economy into an era as playful as it is technological. Each user can qualify and use a voluntary deposit point where they can drop off the packaging collected. These points are geolocated in the application. Reverse vending machines, home sorting, two or three-ways bins, drop off centers. All configurations are possible as long as regular collection is in place. Virtual tokens called ‘Eco Reward’ - value each deposit according to the quantity. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) should make it possible to determine the volume of packaging thanks to the analysis of a photo. In tune with social networks, ZeLoop invites itself to the favorite tools of the younger generations…

“We now have close to 13,000 registered users in more than 150 countries that have prevented over a million bottles to end in nature,” said Schaffner.

Several companies have used ZeLoop as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) employee engagement programme.

“We have organised Eco Mission challenges where top collectors are rewarded with prizes selected by the company; Serco and Schneider Electric are some of the companies that have organised such challenges. We have collaborated with UAE leading waste management companies lke Bee’ah and Imdaad and international brands like Nestlé and Reckitt Benkiser Middle East. We have also attracted organisations and businesses that are now representing ZeLoop in their county, which include France, Zambia, Honduras, Guatemala and Chile to name a few,” added Schaffner.

Apple supports ZeLoop’s journey

Schaffner started with a minimum viable product (MVP) followed by sprints of developments to add new feature or improve the user experience. During this process, the founder got the app reviewed by experts from Apple team.

“All advises were progressively integrated, allowing us to greatly improve the user experience so recycling and fighting littering can be a smooth and fun experience,” said Schaffner.

“Apple provides all necessary tools to test in a sandbox environment before releasing. When new capabilities are announced from WWDC it is a very good thing to be able to test it and understand if we can use it in our app. Developers should not be afraid to setup and test new Apple features, as it can possibly add more value to the product or increase user experience.”

Schaffner says everybody can create an app, the most important thing is to focus on the product and what problem it solves or if it solves the ‘problem’ better than the competition.

“You need to have a vision where you want to be and start with a minimum viable product (MVP) with the core functionalities. Then don’t wait to release the MVP so you can collect feedback from early adopters and improve step by step while remaining close to users expectation,” he said.

“Nowadays it is easy to find great developers so we believe it is possible to anyone to create an app providing that specifications are clear and deliverable defined. The challenge may be on the quality of the coding, if not done as per standards (often for cost reason) future upgrades may turn into an expensive exercise.”

This year Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be hosted online during June 6 –10, 2022.

“There are a lot of new ideas that come out of WWDC that can potentially be interesting to integrate into a product. And when it is the case, it opens new ways to do business. It is also a way for developers to understand what Apple’s vision is for the next year. If the industry moves together at the same time, it can be beneficial for us, app developers, to be ready for mass consumption. So behind all the new features announced, there are also a lots of opportunities created,” concluded Schaffner. — sandhya@khaleejtimes.com


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