30 May 2023


Wahu is an ambitious start up; it’s a commercial business, yet it acts like a charity, with the aim to do good for the planet and society.

How? By letting people earn money by collecting plastic. Simple.

Wahu is a company which will buy the plastic garbage that you collect and recycle it.

How does it work?

You download the app and connect it to your digital wallet. Then you bring your plastic garbage to the special waste hub point, drop it off and get paid instantly. Although it’s currently only active in Jakarta, they’ve got big rollout plans in the pipeline!

Our assignment:

The client came to us with a vision, a business plan and a design style for the app. But they still needed a new name, a brand story and a Visual Identity (VI). They also had a tight, highly ambitious deadline, albeit with a much less ambitious budget!

The Wahu name was born quickly during our initial conversations and is a portmanteau of ‘Waste Hub’.

Because of the limited time and budget we needed to be practical and move fast to create essential launch assets: the logo, a landing page in both English and Indonesian and a Wahu branded container – a physical place where plastic would be exchanged for digital cash. In order to create these things we had to develop a creative rationale, a colour matrix and a basic design system.

Here is the result of our work:

Enabling with vibrancy

We were inspired by both the streets and nature in Indonesia – bright colors smashing into natural tones, bursting with life and flavour. Starting with the logo, we were empowering people to pay attention to their surroundings and take action for a more regenerative future. The roundness inside the logo and typeface delivers an accessible and inviting presence. People are surrounded with plastic objects in daily life, so choosing plastics as the main visual element is bringing Wahu closer to audiences without being distancing.

The container on the streets

We had very close collaboration with the client to the point that they were describing to us what the container was going to look like, whilst we were sketching it. Of course, there were a few surprises along the way – for example, once we had the artwork approved by all the stakeholders and ready for production, a construction company decided to place a street lamp where the container was supposed to be. But in the end everything came together.

The Big Day

‘That moment the first collectors lined up at our waste hub was incredible. Wahu came to life and from that moment on, we were actually motivating people to come over and hand in their plastic waste, which otherwise would have been burnt or would end up in nature.

In the picture, last in line is a man with a bag full of plastic bottles he had collected. He heard about Wahu that morning from a neighbour. He’s in line together with his daughter, as he doesn’t have a smartphone to get paid for the plastic he is bringing in. So they came over together.

The look on their faces as the plastic was weighed and the reward was paid out instantly into the daughters e-wallet was amazing. All our hard work had paid off, literally. The feeling of making a positive impact in people’s lives and preventing mismanaged plastic waste is as rewarding as it is motivating. Because that is exactly what Wahu is all about, empowering people and making a positive impact on our world.’- Merlijn Lammersen, founder Wahu

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