New York City gets its first plastic-free vending machine - Metro US

New York City gets its first plastic-free vending machine

Fresh Bowl created the first ever plastic-free vending machines which provide healthy, nutritious, and sustainable meals for New Yorkers. Each menu item is sold in glass packaging so that it can be reused.

The first public location of Fresh Bowl will be located at the Fulton Street center in the financial district. One of the founders, Chloe Vichot, spoke with Metro and opted to choose Fulton Street station because of its incredible downtown “dynamic.”

The idea behind Fresh bowl was conceived by Chloe Vichot and Zachary Lawless. Lawless approached Vichot about the vending machine project, and she was thrilled to work on it. The two hope that Fresh Bowl will increase access to healthy and sustainable food while avoiding single-use plastic. 

Vichot mentioned that one of her biggest inspirations while creating Fresh bowls was “I really wanted to find food that was healthy and easy to eat but at the same time would educate people to eat in a more sustainable way…” and additionally said that “…I felt that NYC really needed to do something differently with the packaging and the quality of the food that was available.”

Vichot’s relationship with sustainability changed when she moved from France to New York. She had always grown up sustainably, by buying from local markets and turning off the sink as she brushed her teeth, but when she came to New York, she realized that it was not an everyday practice. 

She spoke with Metro about how she feels the mindset is different from France and how by creating this project, she hopes it helps shifts American mindsets about sustainability and show them how simple it is to be sustainable. 

Each menu item is made in the company’s kitchen and focuses on using local and seasonal ingredients. It will have options for breakfast, lunch, smacks, and even drinks. They have also made sure that all dietary restrictions are considered. So, there are options for those who are vegan, dairy-free nut-free, and gluten-free. 

Each Fresh Bowl is $6-$12 and has anywhere from 180-675 calories. If a customer returns their jar to the machine, they will receive a $2 credit towards their next purchase.  During the trial period of the vending machine, Vichot told Metro that the return rate was at 80 percent and she noted how excited costumers were to participate in the sustainability movement. 

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