A Vending Machine That Can Help Reduce Plastic Pollution

Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is a serious issue that is destroying our oceans and a new vending machine called the Ecopod created by Henry Pino, Principal at ALTA Developers, may help. The Ecopod will dispense laundry detergent, cleaning solutions, soaps, and shampoos into eco-friendly reusable containers, which are sold separately.

In just the United States alone, 9.5 billion pounds of plastic were thrown away in 2017, and only 30% was recycled. While the majority of the plastic belongs to beverage bottles, like water, other plastic containers also make up a large amount.

These include laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, cleaning solution, and other similar containers. The Ecopod aims to replace them.

How It Works

Using an Ecopod is like using any other vending machine or soda fountain. Just don’t actually drink what’s inside. Simply purchase an Ecopod starter kit for 20 dollars, which includes multiple refillable metal containers that are usable at the machine. Insert the container and select the substance you want.

The process of refilling the containers ends up being 50% cheaper than having to purchase a brand new container. It contains laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, shampoo, conditioner, and other substances every household uses.

Circular Economy

The Ecopod is another example of humans attempting to move towards a circular economy. This is an economy that tries to make items like plastic containers last longer. A great example was the push to stop using plastic water bottles and instead use refillable bottles.

This is a very similar concept and it can have a big impact if it takes off. Out of the 9.5 billion pounds of plastic waste in 2017, 1.8 billion came from containers that this vending machine offers. While it is unlikely that everyone would switch, this can lower that number drastically.

Another Solution For Single Use Plastics

Single-use plastics are seen as the biggest contributor to plastic pollution and eliminating a large source of them is good news.  Almost every plastic has a replacement. Instead of plastic plates, you can use glass. Instead of plastic utensils, you can use metal, and instead of plastic bags, you can use reusable ones. The list goes on and even laws are being passed around the world. In California, restaurants can only hand out plastic straws if directly asked.

Change is Difficult

Recycle

The problem with most of these alternatives is they require just a little bit of effort. For example, if you use glass plates and metal utensils, you have to wash them, which is why plastic is so popular. Unfortunately, people are not willing to put in the extra effort to help reduce plastic pollution.

While this is a great solution and would actually save households money, it is important to remember that recycling is an option. Recycling is a big part of ending plastic pollution and minimizing the amount of new plastic we create. So even if you are still using single-use plastics, recycling makes a big difference.

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