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IKEA Business Model For Food Promises the End of the Plastic Waste

kokou adzo



David Conway SmartBins

We talked to David Conway of SmartBins about waste reduction and COVID-19.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded SmartBins. 

David Conway: I started SmartBins after realizing the answer to reducing the amount of trash produced by the average US household relies heavily on the elimination of food packaging. Food packaging comprises 75% of American household waste, over 73 million tons per year. Hinging on the idea that reducing waste long-term is an economically sustainable model, SmartBins promises to reduce waste and boost profits to stores and increase customer savings.

How does SmartBins innovate? 

David Conway: SmartBins builds product dispensers (think automated bulk bin food aisle) selling everyday consumables, including food and beverages, cleaning, and beauty products. SmartBins makes shopping package-free as easy as pre-packaged in brick & mortar and online retail. This technology holds the key to capturing a $162B+ lost opportunity in retail and addressing the plastic crisis in a profitable way. 

Our aim is to enable a similar supply chain that IKEA Furniture created with a flatpack for food and everyday essentials. 

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

David Conway: SmartBins has benefited reducing contamination in a meaningful way. By reducing touch/contamination points throughout the supply chain and store, we are making shopping safer. Please click on the link to view a short piece on the inherent safety of dispensers.  

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

David Conway: We do not view the few other players in this space as competitors but as others making a much-needed change in the world. In a multi-trillion dollar market, there is plenty of space for multiple innovators. 

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Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at

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