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Refresh, reuse, recycle

Jack Anderson (left) and Jeremy Gardiner with their Refresh design. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Filling up at the petrol station takes on a whole new meaning with a washing and refilling service that enables people to fill up on water and coffee too.

 

EMILY NORMAN

Rathkeale College old boy Jeremy Gardiner always thought creativity came in the form of the fine arts.

That was until a chance meeting with an industrial designer several years ago who set him on the course of forging his own design career.

Now with a business degree and honours in industrial design, Jeremy is using his skills to revolutionise the way people buy bottled water and takeaway coffee.

Refresh was the final project of Jeremy’s honours programme at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, and with teammate Jack Anderson, the duo has created a washing and refilling service that will enable people to fill up on water and coffee at petrol stations, encouraging recycling, and cutting down on landfill waste.

In a survey of 560 people Jeremy’s research showed that while 43 per cent of people owned a reusable water bottle, they still bought single-use bottles, “illustrating that the current reusable water bottle doesn’t offer enough convenience for the modern consumer.”

Refresh enables the reuse and refill of recyclable water bottles and coffee cups. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Refresh enables the reuse and refill of recyclable water bottles and coffee cups. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The Refresh system would use near-field communication swipe card-type technology (NFC) wash terminals inside the petrol station to sterilise the specially designed bottles and cups — an innovation they believe by having readily available to consumers will be a huge step towards encouraging their re-use.

In a further technological innovation their design includes an app that allows consumers to pre-order their coffee and once washed and dried be ready for refilling.

“It’s really about creating relationship with the consumer, making them aware of the impact they can have on the environment,” Jeremy said.

“It keeps a tally of the number of vessels they’ve prevented from becoming landfill and the benefit on their wallet through simple re-use.”

The pair have made the prototype cups and bottles and are wanting to set up an ongoing supply service should their design be picked up commercially.

And already, there has been commercial interest in the concept, Jeremy said.

“We’ve been working with the sustainability advisor from Z Energy.

“A few months ago, I pitched the concept and she loved it.”

Ultimately, the concept’s feasibility as a profitable business would “come down to margins”, Jeremey said.

“But as a concept, it’s got potential.

“In the next few weeks we’re going to really knuckle down, set up networks, and see if we can develop this into a reality.”

 

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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