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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Zero Waste Idea: Drink Dispensers

These days there has been a lot of talk about solid waste management and how the world is drowning in trash, with governments all over the world thinking of ways to manage the trash that keeps growing and growing because these things, particularly those made of plastic, are not biodegradable. They will be around long after any of us living today have passed on.  

Photo Credit: PDPics on Pixabay

I’ve seen videos of some countries that repurpose and recycle plastics to hollow blocks for construction, chairs, roads etc. I think that these good efforts that should be shared all over the world to reduce the amount of existing trash today. But I also think that apart from managing the existing trash that we have we should also be making an effort to minimize the creation of additional trash. 

There are so many people who have made the effort to open and support stores that focus on selling products that skips the usual packaging but letting customers simply refill their containers for their purchases. While I love this concept, it is still very rare and inaccessible to those who would want to support the effort but cannot afford to travel/pay extra to do so. 

We need to remember that the majority of the people in the world cannot afford to go zero-waste because the products they can afford are usually those that are in plastic packaging. At this point it’s not just the people/consumers that need to make the effort to support a zero-waste world but also the manufacturers who make these products and package their materials in plastic as well.  

One of the most-used plastic these days the plastic bottle, particularly for water and other bottled drinks, it made me wonder if it would be possible for manufacturers to “repackage” their products by allowing consumers to refill their drinks via tap/dispenser. I’ve seen a water station that does this: you pay the cost of the amount of water you buy and then you can dispense that amount from their tap. We’ve seen dispensers for sodas in fast food places that dispense according to volume – why can’t we do that for other drinks as well? People could come into the stores, enter the volume and drink you need, pay (the same way you do with a vending machine) then fill your container with your purchase. I think this will work well for those convenience stores where people go to buy drinks at the last minute.  

Photo Credit: sl3p3r on Pixabay

If customers are given an incentive of a lower price if they bring their own bottles/containers that would be a great way to encourage people to ditch the plastic bottles and bring their own containers to buy their drinks instead. Obviously, this is just an idea, I have no idea how logistics would be for this kind of concept, but I think this would be a nice alternative that could be looked into.  

In the meantime, it would be great if we all could bring our own cups/bottles when we go out so that we can skip on the plastic bottles/cups for our drinks. After all, a lot of establishments now allow you to use your own container for buying their drinks to avoid the use of plastic. 

Sometimes I think it’s too late for us and the environment with the amount of plastic there is in the world today. But there are still moments when I think that we can still do something to reverse everything or at the very least, reduce the additional impact we can have on the environment.  

What do you think? 
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