Today we have a trade-off between convenience and waste. Whether you are getting a morning coffee or a mid-afternoon snack, if you want something fast to fit into your routine, you are probably going to waste plastic.
What if you could have the convenience of a vending machine without the plastic waste inside?
We propose to build a network of smart vending machines that distribute portioned servings of food and drinks. Instead of individually wrapped items, smart vending machines are filled with bulk containers of popular foods and beverages. Customers will be given a compostable or reusable container. The smart vending machine will measure out an appropriate serving of the customer’s item of choice into their waiting cup.
Smart vending machines will be first be introduced to gyms and fitness centers distributing protein shakes. Regular exercisers[c1] are advised to consume protein within 60 minutes of a workout, and protein shakes are a common form of getting these nutrients. Instead of going home, opening a packet of protein powder, and making one yourself, you can get an on-demand protein shake right after your workout.
Multiple flavors and powders will be available, allowing individuals to customize their shake to their needs. Reusable bottles will be available for a small deposit and can be returned at a future gym visit.
Smart vending machines are able to eliminate a need for small plastics while conveniently getting consumers the sustenance they need.