|The second season of the series, Solving Plastic! |
The Story of Stuff Project is kicking off round two with a trip to Chile, where Algramo is making zero-waste shopping accessible to people in middle- and lower-income neighborhoods by using vending machines to refill containers. Algramo is seeking to solve the “poverty tax” faced by low-income families that cannot buy in bulk as smaller packages can be up to 40% more expensive due to logistical inefficiencies, marketing, and packaging.
Because the containers are reused, the product costs substantially less than if a new one were purchased. People also choose the quantities of product they wish to buy, hence the name, which means “by the gram” in English. Algramo’s vending machines sell products like rice, lentils, beans, and chickpeas as well as cleaning supplies through dispensers and specially designed reusable containers.