Tree to Trash

Tree to Trash is a webstory about the production process of a paper cup. The aim was to explore unconventional methods of building awareness for single-use products.

role ⟶

digital prototyping

design research


info ⟶


client: UvA & HvA

cooperation ⟶

Alexandra Sykioti

Katy Barnard

Yes de Jong

website ⟶

Problem Space

My team and I were asked by the Waste Management Department of the HvA & UvA to help them jumpstart their mission of becoming a zero-waste institute within the next ten years. To get familiar with the problem space, we conducted field-research around the school buildings. In particular, the ridiculousness of disposable products, such as paper cups, had an impact on our research.

Waste Management Field-research
Waste Management Zero-waste month

Where do paper cups come from?

Various research methods raised the questions of where the paper cups from the school come from and made us curious about the whole production process. We are all familiar with the post-process of trash from pictures of landfills and plastic in oceans but have no idea of what it takes to make these products.

Production of a paper cup


We use storytelling to build awareness for this invisible part of the process. Our story follows a fictional process of a paper cup production from tree to trash and is shown from the eyes of the paper cup. The final story is around 4 minutes long and is audio-recorded by a narrator.

Collaborative storywritting

Iterating on the visual style

To engage with the user and start their imagination, we created six scenes with abstract visuals that are interactable with the cursor. Each scene shows a part of the process, e.g., transportation. Through each iteration, we enhanced the experience of the interconnection of audio and visuals to create a playful and exciting experience.

Webstory Iteration Forest 01
Webstory Iteration Forest 02
Webstory Iteration Factory 01
Webstory Iteration Factory 02

Digital Prototype

The final product is working on desktop and mobile devices. After the user has been led through the story, he will be redirected to a factual page that provides real data around the problem of single-use products. It includes facts, tips, and our mission, as well as useful links to get more information around this topic.

To experience the full webstory click here.

Tree to Trash — Macbook Mockup
Webstory Final 01
Webstory Final 02
Webstory Final 03
Webstory Final 04
Webstory Final 05
Webstory Final 06

next project

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