Delivering groceries without single-use packaging and cutting household plastic waste.
Circular Design Challenge winner
Category 1: Rethinking grocery shopping
MIWA, from the Czech Republic, introduces an app that lets shoppers order the exact quantities of the groceries they need, which are then delivered in reusable packaging from the producer to their closest store or to their home.
How does it accelerate the transition to a circular economy?
One of the success factors of plastics packaging is its ability to adapt to various customer needs, from large-scale packs in our supermarkets to the small packaging items like sachets more common in emerging markets. Yet many plastics packaging items found in our shops today are not economically recyclable and often end up polluting the environment.
MIWA introduces a digital solution that connects all stakeholders along the value chain – from the farm that produces the food to the customer that buys it. It allows anyone with a mobile phone to order any desired amount of a product to be delivered in reusable packaging to either their nearest store or directly to their home. This solution does not only design out unrecyclable plastic packaging, it also helps to minimise food waste.
We have seen package-free stores before, but MIWA takes the concept one step further. Connecting the producer with the consumer it eliminates single-use packaging along the product’s value chain. The system can be scaled to work in supermarkets as well as local stores and farmers markets.
3 questions for the team
Founder and CEO
What led you to come up with this idea?
I became interested in waste prevention, which is a simple enough idea but pretty difficult to apply in everyday life. This is where MIWA comes in: to remove many barriers people face when trying to reduce waste and to show that it is possible.
Many others are proposing packaging-free grocery stores. What makes your idea stand out?
We encompass not just one shop but all shops. Our technology can fit in almost anywhere - from small shops to large supermarkets. The MIWA system’s distinctiveness lies in its adaptability and flexibility, as it covers all members of the supply chain from producers to consumers.
What excites you the most about the New Plastics Economy Accelerator Programme?
Having a combination of a logistics solution and an in-store experience that eliminates plastic waste, we are excited to get together with like-minded individuals and organisations to shake up our existing production and consumption habits, which are long overdue for an update.
Follow us on Twitter @NewPlasticsEcon