MIAMI – No matter where we go, the things we buy, eat and use are mostly packed in plastic.
And now our planet is drowning in it.
Every minute the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic is dumped into the oceans, and global plastic production is expected to triple in the next 30 years.
As environmentalists, scientists, and world leaders seek solutions to this growing crisis, a South Florida resident may have just come up with something that can help us all use far less plastic.
Ecopod is the brainchild of Miami real estate developer Henry Pino, who developed the new sustainable innovation to help us all reduce our plastic consumption.
A kiosk in select residential buildings and grocery stores dispenses liquid laundry detergents, detergents, and even shampoos and soaps without all of the wasteful plastic because the consumer is using the same container over and over again.
“I wake up excited every day because I know we’re going to make a positive change,” says Pino.
These kiosks, like the one at Westchester Sedano’s on Bird Road and Southwest 87th Avenue, also make your shopping a lot cheaper considering you’re only buying the product, not the plastic. For example, a 92-ounce Tide laundry detergent costs $ 18.99.
“Our product is 100 ounces and we sell it here for $ 7.89 as a refill,” says Pino.
That’s a $ 11 savings.
“It’s not complicated,” said Katie Martinez, VP of Marketing at Ecopod. “You lift the door, put your bottle in, press the button and you’re done.
“It’s a win-win situation by saving money and saving the planet at the same time.”
Ecopod has been with Farm Stores South Miami for almost two years and is well received by customers
“I like to have a container that I can easily refill in and not have to use up more and more plastic,” says consumer Genevieve Jenkins.
It goes a long way because in most stores’ household items, almost everything comes packaged in plastic containers that are rarely recycled.
“It never really goes away, and I think that’s what we’re realizing now,” says Caiti Waks, who founded the nonprofit Debris Free Oceans seven years ago. Scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight. “
Waks is at the forefront of the fight against plastic pollution. The surfer turned activist has organized hundreds of cleanups and uses her platform to urge us all to reduce our plastic consumption.
She says our daily choices can make a huge difference – like not buying bottled water.
The truth is that less than 7% of what we think is recycled is actually recycled. So most of the bottles end up in landfills, or worse, in our oceans.
“Our public water is really potable,” says Waks. “You just have to remember your bottle. This reusable bottle that I carry around with me. “
Waks also carries her own reusable canvas tote bags every time she goes shopping and never accepts plastic bags.
“You’re caught in the wind. They blow straight into our waterways, ”she says. “It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Waks says Ecopod is a total game changer.
“I do a lot of laundry for someone like me who has two babies under 2 years old now, so I have to keep buying more detergent and so much and no, I don’t have to feel bad using my detergent,” she says “Come on, how cool is that? It’s great, I’m really, really excited.”
Right now the only brands Ecopod is putting out are Tide and Downy, but more brands are coming. Most of the products available are under the Nuve brand and are environmentally friendly and made here in Miami. Pino says they are just as good as the brands and much cheaper.
Ecopod has 24 locations in Miami-Dade County, but also ships throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
More information is available at www.ecopodshop.com.
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