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

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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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