Innovation That Matters

The grocery industry produces more plastic packaging than almost any other industry | Photo source Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

A waste-free packaging system for your groceries


A new system allows customers to purchase precise amounts of bulk foods and other goods, dispensed into reusable containers

Spotted: A growing number of grocery stores are trying to reduce their packaging waste in a bid to be more environmentally-friendly. Now, Czech start-up MIWA has developed a solution that could help reduce the amount of disposable plastic used by manufacturers. The company has designed 20-litre cartridges so that products don’t have to be packed separately, and smart dispensers for store-use.

The cartridges eliminate the need for retailers to decant bulk foods, which can cause contamination, and when one cartridge is empty, a new one can be easily and quickly clicked into place. Empty cartridges are sent back to MIWA, where they are washed and refilled, and each cartridge can be reused up to 300 times. 

Customers use an app to select the exact amount of each product that they want, which is then dispensed automatically into re-useable, micro-chipped containers. MIWA’s ultimate goal is to develop a self-service shop where ordering and payment take place through the app. In the meantime, smart dispensers also help retailers to keep track of how much stock is remaining.

MIWA is currently running trials in several locations across Europe, and are raising funds. Mirek Lizec, executive director of MIWA, told Innovation Origins that there is now “a lot more awareness for the plastic waste problem and how huge the problem is. Major brands have agreed to reduce the use of single-use plastic and we think we can help them achieve this.”

Reducing or even eliminating plastic packaging is the goal of a number of innovations recently covered by Springwise, and we are primed to see a lot more in the coming years. Some recent innovations in this space have included the use of digital packaging and compostable shrink wrap on fresh foods.



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