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Refilled launches initiative to save 100m single-use plastic bottles from vending
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

15 September 2023

Refilled launches initiative to save 100m single-use plastic bottles from vending

Refilled, a newly established climate tech start-up based in Sydney, Australia, has recently launched an initiative to eliminate single-use plastic bottle waste caused by the vending industry. Earlier this week, the company started working with two Australian institutions: The University of Technology Sydney and The University of Sydney Union. Refilled's strategy involves replacing a significant number of these vending machines with its new BYO-Bottle system. The company plans to capitalise on the trend of reusable bottles by providing consumers with a wide range of flavoured and nutritionally enriched options beyond plain tap water. The business has developed 'Refillers,' a fusion between a fridge and a "giant" SodaStream, offering chilled still and sparkling drinks in various flavours. These beverages can be further customised with optional boosters like caffeine, vitamins and exercise-oriented nootropics.

Refilled aims to build and install 100 Refillers machines by 2024. This initiative is said to eliminate over 1 million single-use plastic bottles from polluting our environment or filling up landfills every year. In addition, it aims to eliminate 100 million single-use plastic bottles by 2030. According to the company, a single Refiller has the capacity to stock ten times more beverages than a standard vending machine. Consequently, it can "dramatically reduce waste" and lower emissions produced by frequent deliveries and restocking of traditional beverages. Moreover, Refilled is employing technology to track the number of saved bottles in real time. It has introduced reusable bottles featuring QR codes that can be scanned at the Refiller to pay for drinks, eliminating the need for cards, phones or cash.

Refilled founder and CEO Ryan Nelson said: "Refilled is transforming the ordinary, everyday act of drinking water into climate action. Most people have good intentions and want to do good for the planet, but not everyone can afford to buy an electric vehicle or install solar panels." He continued: "Armed with just a reusable bottle and a couple of bucks, our Refillers offer an affordable, achievable way to eliminate plastic pollution. If we can replace even a fraction of drink vending machines, which are an outrageous source of plastic waste, we will stop millions of plastic bottles going to landfills." University of Sydney Union president, Naz Sharifi, added: "As part of our ongoing efforts to expand our sustainable practices and reduce the usage of single-use plastic bottles, we are thrilled to be partnering with Refilled, who share our social, environmental and ecological aspirations. This will allow our members access to filling stations in key locations around campus."

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