Approximately 50 percent of plastic packaging is thrown away, and about one-third of it ends up in our oceans. While there’s a global movement to reduce plastic waste, these efforts often exclude lower-income communities. For these communities, buying staple items in bulk is prohibitively expensive, forcing them to purchase in smaller containers, more often—exacerbating the plastic waste problem and forcing low-resource families to pay significantly more, on a per-unit basis, for their products.
Algramo tackles both these issues with its reusable packaging system, enabling anyone to buy in bulk—providing cost savings to customers and reducing plastic waste. Algramo’s system includes three key components: reusable containers with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips to facilitate payment; Internet of Things (IoT)-connected vending machines to dispense products in bulk; and electric tricycles to deliver product refills.
Customers transfer funds onto a digital wallet that is connected to their reusable packaging, which enables cashless purchases from IoT-connected vending machines. This system literally transfers value onto the packaging, so customers are incentivized to take care of it. Algramo's distribution system enables brands to digitally verify how much plastic is offset by reuse. When customers need new products, they simply page an Algramo tricycle for at-home refill.