Plastic Soup Foundation

Beat The Microbead App

All our customers and projects are precious to us. But some projects are extra special to work on. This is certainly the case with the Beat the Microbead app, which we recently redesigned and developed for and together with the Plastic Soup Foundation.

We made the first version of the app in 2014, so it was now dated, both in terms of technology and design. Feedback from the many users involved also made us think about a new “customer journey” to make it easier to contribute.

We decided to completely renew the app, as well as the backend and the CMS. The main purpose of the app is to enable people to check for microplastics in cosmetic products in an intuitive, fast way. This creates awareness about the use of these harmful substances and in how many products they occur (a lot!).

After extensive user research, carried out by Accenture, we optimized the UX design, so that in two simple steps you already know whether a product contains microplastics or not. The user can then add the scanned product to the Plastic Soup Foundation database, building in-depth knowledge of the content of products from different manufacturers.

In addition to an optimal user experience, we also tried to make using the app a party. The visual experience is enriched, by using various animations, among other things, which support the functions of the app.

To make it as easy as possible for the user, all they have to do is take a picture of the ingredients on the product. We used Google’s advanced machine learning technology to recognize those ingredients. The choice for that technique not only ensures a high recognition rate at the moment, but also that it will continue to increase, because the algorithm is potentially improved with every new scan.

Thanks to the CMS, employees of the Plastic Soup Foundation have an extensive reporting and monitoring tool. When they add new microplastics, they are immediately recognized by the app. In addition, all existing products in the database are then checked again, so that the database of the Plastic Soup Foundation remains up to date at all times.

We are very proud of the Beat The Microbead app, which we hope will encourage manufacturers to find alternatives to the harmful plastics in their products that are used by millions of people every day.

"I am so glad with this app. It is by far the fastest way to learn if your cosmetics and personal care products contain plastic ingredients"

Madhuri Prabhakar, Project Leader & Social Media Associate at Plastic Soup Foundation

The Beat The Microbead app is available via the App Store and Google Play

The Beat The Microbead app is available via the App Store and Google Play

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