SweepAR – the app for a better world!

Press Release App Release SweepAR

Drop the garbage!

For all those who want to get active and make the world a little cleaner, there is now the interactive app “SweepAR” including Social-Media-Integration!

Forests, streams, meadows degenerate into private landfills. Just a disfigurement of nature? Not at all! Because it is not harmless. 600,000 tons of electronic scrap and 46.6 million tons of household waste are generated in Germany every year – including glass, paper, packaging and plastic. And the Germans are the “garbage leaders”: here in Germany, significantly more garbage is produced than the European average. According to the Federal Environment Agency, 18.1 Billion tons of packaging waste were produced in 2016, which corresponds to 220 kilograms per capita. The European average is 167 kilograms. Every German produces an average of 37 kg of plastic waste from packaging waste alone per year and with 11.7 million tonnes Germany consumes more plastic than any other country in Europe (Plastic Waste Statistics 2016/2017).

This waste is often disposed of illegally – and catches up with us on our plates. Through the food chain we are served plastic, which gets into rivers and sometime into the sea and is eaten there by fish. Meanwhile huge plastic carpets cover the oceans. In 35 years, scientists say, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Seabirds, fish and marine mammals eat the plastic – and die of it. In the stomach of a sperm whale washed up dead on the Spanish coast, 100 plastic bags were found.

Maximilian Mende (31), who runs the digital agency “dixmind UG” in Landshut together with his business partner Christian Tilp (32), finds that “all this is frightening – and alarming”. “The environmental problem has now arrived in society, but far too little is still being done about it,” says Mende. “The world is suffocating in the garbage, we urgently need to do something about it”. So the two young entrepreneurs were looking for their own new solution. “The goal was to reach many people with our idea and to motivate them in a playful way for environmental protection! “The result is the (free) interactive app “SweepAR”, developed by the two of them.

“SweepAR is an app for everyone who wants to get active and make the world a cleaner place,” explains Christian Tilp. The app idea works similar to the internet challenge “Trash Challenge”: Twitter users post under the hashtag #trashtag how to make the world a bit better by cleaning it up. Strictly speaking, social media users all over the world clear away bags of rubbish – and show before-and-after pictures of it on the net. Under #trashtag, which consists of the words “Hashtag” and “Trash”, you can find countless articles. A great thing. As is well known, Internet Challenges have only a limited half-life. “SweepAR” builds on the same trend, but focuses on the long term – and also offers a lot of features.

The credo goes: “Do good – and tell of it!” Once the app has been downloaded and an account created, each user can document and save the areas and routes where he has collected garbage. All this is done automatically via GPS and does not have to be entered manually. For other participants of the app, these routes appear on the maps in the app as cleaned marked. After the cleaning the user has the possibility to share his action with a photo in the social media. The user receives points for the clean-up actions, which are in turn credited to regional top lists. “For young people in particular, the attraction lies in the fact that they want to belong socially,” says Mende. “Instagram and Snapchat are the best examples of how many people are concerned about recognition and confirmation – and about an increasing number of followers!” Of course, members can communicate with each other in chat, share their experiences and arrange for new clean-up activities. You can also create your own private groups.

“By the way the App is just as suitable for private persons as for enterprises or public mechanisms.”, explains Tilp. Communities and municipalities send daily many coworkers into the employment, in order to free roads, sidewalks and green areas from carelessly thrown away garbage. They would surely benefit from a cooperation (… as well as motivated environmental cleaners, who hope for a small thank you in the form of a raffle). Also for enterprises a co-operation could be worthwhile itself: If companies not only take their responsibility for the cleanliness of the environment to the outside world with words, but also call on their employees to actively participate with incentive challenges, then the environment, colleagues and company image benefit equally. The relaxed atmosphere during a team event almost always guarantees fun and enjoyment of participation. And the preparation for the event and the resulting team building lead to a greater sense of belonging to the company.

“We are really convinced of SweepAR,” says Mende proudly. “In any case, it is a right and important step to keep our planet a bit clean, to reduce waste and to support environmental protection and sustainability”. The self-financed app developed by “dixmind” can be used free of charge and downloaded from the Play Store in May and from the Apple App Store in June. The app will be launched in German and English. Further languages and an international roll-out are in preparation.