Yoyo France, Or how to sort in a civic, collaborative and generous way !
April 27, 2017
Pour obtenir l’interview en Français et découvrir la superbe initiative YOYO France, cliquez ici : Yoyo France – Initiative environnementale et collaborative
Can you tell us a little more about the founder of YOYO France, its background and its motives?As a born entrepreneur, Eric Brac de La Perrière created Yoyo in 2016 which aims to increase the recycling rate in cities, by rewarding sorting practices on a collaborative platform. Through Yoyo, Eric wants to mobilize companies, cities and citizens for a common cause : zero waste. His carrier as the CEO of Eco-Emballages from 2009 to 2015 gave him specific expertise in circular economy and public-private partnership. Eric also held various key positions in media and consultancy groups as CEO of The Link Factory (Havas Group), CEO of Burson-Marsteller (WPP Group) and Chairman of Me US (MC Saatchi Group). As a graduate of L’Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale, Eric served in the French Navy Commandos as a Navy Officer and worked for the Compagnie Générale d’Aéronautique in South America. Today, Eric places his expertise in management and environmental issues at the service of Yoyo, the first collaborative platform which ambition is to revolutionize recyclable waste collection.
YOYO France, what is it? How does it work?Yoyo stands for the back and forth of the matter : « I consume, I pick up ». It is a new system of source separation, meant to double the recycling rate of plastic waste, which is currently stagnating at 23% in cities. Plastic is the material that we consume the most, but the one that we recycle the least. Yoyo digital deposit that rewards citizens who separate recyclables in a better way – with discounts on their cities’ cultural or sports activities for example. The picked-up plastic material is then tracked and directly channelled to the recycling centre.
Yoyo, how does it work?Thanks to a collaborative website (www.yoyofrance.com), a Sorter and Coach community is trained and mobilized. The Sorters receive the Yoyo emptied and numbered bags, in which they can separate their PET plastic bottles from the source (soda bottles, juices, vinegar…). Once the bags are full, they are sent back to a Coach near their home (a merchant, a retired person, a guard…). The Sorters and Coaches accounts are credited with points, whichthey can trade with rewards (cheaper or free access to shows, matches, cinema, transports, eco-friendly products…). Yoyo works along with the existing measures, as it settled in cities whose recycling system keeps lagging behind.
Where and since when?Yoyo operates in the 9th district of Lyon, and in the centre of Bordeaux since December 2016. The Start-up aims to expend to Paris and its suburbs and in 10 cities by the end of 2017.
How do you hope your initiative is going to change people’s mentality towards the protection of the environment?We think that people who recycle their plastic bottles with Yoyo won’t stop there. Someone that sorts plastic will more easily sorts other materials. Someone that sorts in his home will also sort outside his house. Someone that starts to sort will encourage his surroundings to do the same. It is a virtuous circle. Yoyo puts people at the centre of the environmental issue that plastic represents. It is necessary to end the consensual discourse and act in a responsible and activist way.
Do you think people are ready to change their habits to protect the environment? Or are people still lacking information and awareness, even in France?Sorting is the most favorite action of French people after voting. Awareness campaigns are regular and affect 66% of French people (ADEME 2015 figures). However, the sorting and recycling system in France is very complex. The problem is the distrust people feel towards the utility of sorting, and the lack of knowledge on the use of waste once they are in the trash. This is why the recycling rate of plastic is stagnating. We need people to start acting now, and that is what Yoyo fights for.
Do you believe it’s the government’s responsibility to take action to protect the environment? Or do you think it has to come from the bottom of the society?The government needs to take charge and take action on the fundamental question that is the pollution of plastic. However, we cannot just rely on those decisions to be taken. The struggle against pollution is urgent : everyone has to take action, within its own means. Driven by its city inhabitants, Yoyo enables this action. Thanks to Yoyo, inhabitants who are already sorting but anyone who wishes to do more can. On the other hand, inhabitants that weren’t sorting before Yoyo, can now gain a real recognition for their action : they act, directly or indirectly, for the environment.
Do you consider YOYO team members as activists? What do you think this word means today?To launch such a project, you have to be convinced to convince. Yoyo places itself as an actor of the positive ecology, preferring the carrot more than the stick. We are convinced that we need to act in a different way, by placing people at the centre of the issue – for a more sustainable earth.
YOYO France in ten years from now: what will it look like?
In ten years from now, Yoyo will be settled in the biggest French cities – and the smallest. Yoyo will also have reached out to emerging Mediterranean countries.
Diversification of the recycled materials
With time, Yoyo aims to diversify: to enable the sorting of new materials, always in a short cycle. We are thinking for example about other recyclables plastics and electronic wastes.
What is YOYO France’s ultimate goal? What are the next steps?The aim is to increase the recycling rates of all waste. Moreover, we want to raise awareness and to change the mentality towards sorting.
What are our next steps?
- to expand Yoyo example to all big French cities
- to experiment with other wastes
- to export our project to emerging Mediterranean countries.