Rethinking the future of plastic packaging.
Orkla | Æra
With efficient smart logistics and refillable packaging, we’re currently working on På(fyll) – a new circular service in the Nordics that delivers everyday household items directly to people’s doorsteps.
What we did
- Product strategy and design
- Data-driven platform for a circular business model
- Brand strategy, identity and narrative
- UX copy and content strategy
- Communications strategy and art direction
A new standard of zero-waste services
Every year the EU produces over 25.8 million tonnes of plastic waste, with 70% of this sent to landfills, and most of it single-use. So in partnership with Æra, Orkla and Form Us With Love, we’ve developed På(fyll), a circular service which aims to tackle this ever-growing pile of plastic waste. På(fyll) provides familiar household products in refillable containers, from hand soap to laundry detergent, delivered directly to customers’ doorsteps. With efficient logistics and sustainable packaging, the data-driven digital platform aims to set a new standard of zero-waste services for both brands and consumers.
For the past two years, we worked with our partners to shape all aspects of the service, developing everything from the customer-facing platform to the fulfilment logistics, from the business model to the branding.
Since 2018, the European strategy for plastics has been part of the EU’s action plan to transition towards a carbon-neutral and circular economy and to reach its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Circularity and sustainability are becoming an increasingly important part of any business strategy, and we developed På(fyll) not only to adapt to these growing demands but to lead the industry, setting a new benchmark for circular services.
tonnes of plastic waste produced annually in the EU
of these plastics are sent to landfill or incinerators
of plastic packaging value wasted
The BB process: designing circularity
Customers start their journey on the På(fyll) platform, where they browse the different products and make an order. We designed and developed the platform with simplicity and circularity in mind, gently guiding users through a clear visual hierarchy and making sure that sustainable choices are always the easiest option. We also ensured that the process is equally engaging on both desktop and mobile to ensure maximum accessibility. Key to this was the remote user-testing we undertook throughout the development phase in order to help improve the design and user journey.
Utilising data streams from external partners, På(fyll) ensures everything from efficient delivery route optimisation to smart order bundling, keeping sustainability at the core of every part of the service.
In order to create the most intuitive flow for the På(fyll) user journey, we developed the digital platform in tandem with all other non-digital elements of the service. The entire seamless system relies on interfacing with third parties and involves frictionless interfacing to complete actions such as API access, address look-up, reverse logistics (pick-up/drop-off), shipment tracking and scheduling (pick-up/drop-off time slots). At the same time, this complexity provides a wellspring of data we can use to improve sustainability and efficiency. For example, to offer the most sustainable logistics, På(fyll) optimises transportation by collaborating with its transport provider, Heltjem. As a result, På(fyll) can encourage smart order bundling, reducing the number of shipments – meaning cheaper delivery costs for the customer and efficient delivery routes for our partners.
The intuitive interface was developed based on user testing in Norway
Data is used to positively reinforce sustainable choices at each step of the user journey
The app also connects to third-party logistics for deliveries and returns
Creating circular habits
We also developed På(fyll) with a focus on a transparent backend, meaning we don't hoard data simply for business purposes but are open and share this information with customers. By leveraging this data we’re able to adapt the service to people's needs and lifestyles, creating a long-term relationship with customers without the need for one-size-fits-all subscription models. For example, På(fyll) is able to nudge customers into bundling orders themselves at the most appropriate times based on their past activity. This enables customers to participate in a dialogue about their sustainability and gain better insight into their actions to ultimately encourage positive changes in behaviour.
Containing and carrying
At the core of På(fyll) are its unique containers. Working with our partners at Form Us With Love, we developed a bespoke design that can be easily washed and reused again and again for maximum sustainability. The design comes in two sizes, 900ml or 2100ml, created to be stackable for efficient storage. A carefully crafted edge makes the containers very easy to grip, and a unique nozzle makes pouring simple and spill-proof. Whenever a customer runs low on a product, they can re-order online or scan the QR code printed on each container. These QR codes, provided by our partner Carrot, track containers at each step of their journey, from warehouse to doorstep, offering detailed information each time they’re used. The labels also serve another function; by peeling off the perforated strip, they become a simple joining device to hold together empty containers, which can then be left outside on the doorstep to be collected, washed and reused.
A new shopping experience, a new approach to branding
From the beginning, we helped establish a foundation for the brand, including the initial vision for the service and its mission and values. Alongside this was the creation of the På(fyll) name itself. On one level, ‘På(fyll)’ — Norwegian for ‘refill’ — describes the most prominent part of the service; on another level, it also gives a grounding for other narratives. When designing the logo, we kept in mind the notion of ‘containing’ — insofar as the platform hosts external partner brands and the vessels hold different household essentials.
The hollow space between the brackets presents an opportunity for cross-brand communication, as other logos can be integrated within the shape. It conveys the fact that collaborators aren’t an afterthought but an integral part of the brand. We also designed a custom typeface (used in the logo and across the platform), which, along with the icon set we created, help to clearly communicate På(fyll) and its service.
From 100 to 1000
In early 2022, we launched the beta version of På(fyll) with 100 households in Norway and are in the process of preparing to scale up to a broader market. During this ongoing process, we're analysing data from the transparent backend to help us see what's working and what isn't, prioritising feature development and rollout strategies. As we move into 2023 — with a goal of reaching 1000 households — ongoing insights will ensure that sustainability remains at the core of the service and that På(fyll) continues to improve every step of the way.
- PostgreSQL, Python, Jenkins, Kubernetes (backend)
- Typescript, Next.js, postCSS, Lottie, SVGR, Vercel (frontend)
- MailChimp, Helthjem, Carrot (third-party services)
- Æra (strategic partner)
- Form Us With Love (physical product design)
- Fatype Foundry (typography)
- Dom Kesterton (illustrations)
- Philippine Chaumont & Agathe Zaerpour (live-action footage)
- Michele Foti (how-to videos)
- Shestakovych Studio (CG)