Environment

Local Company Looks to Reduce Plastic Waste With Refillable Machines

The value of uncollected plastic packaging waste is between $80-120 billion a year, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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A Woburn-based company is working to reduce plastic use one container at a time.

Massachusetts native Petros Palandjian created Good Filling to help change the way consumers get cleaning and hygiene products, all while helping to reduce the amount of plastic used and thrown away.  

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“Let's take this idea of these zero waste stores that are offering refillable products and kind of zero waste products and make it easier for people to access,” said Palandjian.

He created automated machines that dispense liquid products from hand soap and detergent to body wash and shampoo.

“Every single item in this machine comes at a discount,” he said. “The whole idea of being you're saving plastic, you're saving a label, you're saving a container or a top to the container. You should be rewarded for that.”

To use the machine, a consumer will select the product and size they want, scan a QR code to pay and then a button on the machine lights up to dispense the product.

Palandjian said that he has noticed the younger generation using the stations to be more sustainable, while the older generation is doing it for the convenience.

The value of uncollected plastic packaging waste is between $80-120 billion a year, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 

Cassie Huang with the Environmental Defense Fund said that plastic waste can break down into tiny plastic particles, which can then end up in our bodies.

“This reuse and refill system is one tool in our toolboxes,” Huang said. “It is one way to alleviate packaging materials on our environment...it is also a really good way to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals.”

Palandjian said that within the year the company has saved tens of thousands of plastic bottles.

Currently there are about 15 machines in the greater Boston area in apartments. Good Filling recently introduced hydration stations filled with coffee and tea to eliminate single-use plastic coffee cups. They have plans to expand their machines to Arizona and Florida.

If you have a question about what can and can’t be recycled, click here.

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