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Sustainable Water Service

This is a project about sustainable water services provided to Gen Zs using a recyclable steel bottles and creating water dispenser services to reduce plastic bottle waste.

Group Members: Sanath Desai, Amir Ahmadi, Abishek Prayaga

My Contribution: Research, Ideation, Visual Design, User Interface Design

September 2022 - November 2022

People and Plastic

The world still largely operates on the ‘linear economy’ model, where raw materials are used to manufacture products, only to be disposed of at the end of their short lifetimes. Consumers today aren’t just looking for quality products, they want to buy products from brands that align with their ethics.

Only 15%

of plastic waste is recycled. 

Plastic water bottle sales continue to grow each year despite how wasteful they are.

1.1 M

Marine creatures die becuase disposable water bottles wash into the ocean.

The entire life cycle of disposable water bottles uses fossil fuels, contributes to global warming, and causes pollution.


of disposable water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter.

This adds 38 billion disposable water bottles in U.S landifills.

Gen Z

Gen Z shows the most concern for the planet’s well-being and influences others to make sustainability-first buying decisions.

  • They are more interested in products that will give them the most value for their price.

  • They also admit to being more impulsive in their shopping habits than their older generations.

Primary Research

To understand the reasons behind the behavioral patterns of Gen Zs, primary research was
conducted by Surveying for quantitative data and Interviews, Culture Probe for qualitative data.


40 responses

Cultural Probe

45 responses

Contextual Interviews



Quantitative results

  • They buy bottled water prioritizing accessibility.

  • They usually pay up to 1-2$ for bottled water.

  • Most of them carry a personal bottle.

  • They consider buying plastic bottled water as harmful to the environment.

Quantitative results

Gen Zs do aspire to be sustainable and eco-friendly, but when it comes to on-the-go hydration they prioritize accessibility and price.


Customers don't have any alternate and accessible options for drinking water which is why they buy water bottles from vending machines and not from filters.

While people are minimizing their expenses on water, they are flexible to extend their budget to get more benefits.

The water source has to be reachable. Meaning close distance and the shortest time.

While buying bottled water people feel guilty because they are aware that it will end up in a landfill or won’t get recycled.

Customers don't want to buy plastic water bottles but it they only  need it to carry water.

The design of the bottle should make it easy to carry.

Healthy water is clean and tastes natural.

People have standard expectations for any bottle, purity,
taste, cleanliness.

User Preferences

The user’s buying preferences and desired experience were defined using the Sensory Cues. Then the Radial model was used to compile them.

Sensory Cuse

Conducted to understand, what are the characteristics of bottled water that are desired by Gen Z customers.

Radial Model

The results of sensory cues are plotted on the radial model to show the user's preferences for buying bottled water.

  • It’s not the water, it’s how to carry it pleasantly

  • Pleasant Taste and look good. (feels good)

  • Carry matches your lifestyle. (size, shape, environmentally friendly)(functional)

Stakeholder’s map

The stakeholder's map shows the process from cradle(Creation) to grave(Dispsing) and help determine the point of intervention

Problem Statment

Companies that provide eco-friendly drinking water solution price their product higher than the customer is willing to pay.


Sell water and bottle separately to reduce costs and meet user’s needs by bringing more value.

Show customers the impact they are making (DATA THAT IS CAPTURED – AND THE ICONS).

Solution 1 - Bottle

The collapsible steel bottle makes it sustainable and easier to reuse and recycle. More volume can be shipped at a time which also reduces downtime.


Bottle design

The collapsible bottle allows us to place more of them inside the vending machine as compared to the common bottles.



Exploded View

PP Plastic Strap

Steel bottle Cap

Steel top

Steel bottle layers

Rubber gasket

Solution 2 - Water Service

Vending can also dispense filtered water to fill the bottles. In addition to that the bottles bought from the machine will come with 10 additional refill credits included in the amount.

Touch Screen

Card Machine

Refill Area

Dispose Bottle

Collect Bottle

Scenarios of Use

Buying a bottle...
Refil water...
Dispose Bottle...
Artboard 1-100.jpg
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