Algramo Introduces State-of-the-Art Refill Model to Deliver Affordable Cleaning Product Without Waste in New York City

By Closed Loop Partners

Aug 25, 2020

In partnership with small business owners, Algramo gives consumers a better way to refill cleaning products from leading global brands through a cost effective, smart dispensing system

New York, August 25 – Today, Algramo — a Chile-based startup solving economic and environmental issues through its vending machines that dispense staple products such as household cleaners “by the gram” — launched its first United States based refill vending machine pilots in multiple locations across New York City. The pilots represent the first exciting step in Algramo’s expansion into North America, and will provide invaluable insights to accelerate the next generation of modern, convenient, and cost conscious refill systems that advance the future of retail.

In a natural resource constrained world, reusing valuable packaging materials is a critical part of building a more circular economy. Smart reusable packaging can help minimize the amount of waste left behind from single-use plastic packaging in landfills and oceans. At the same time, Algramo’s refill system allows customers to purchase cleaning products at an affordable price. Algramo not only makes the sustainable option the cheaper option, but also the more equitable and convenient option.

The various Algramo refill systems, which activate this week, will dispense cleaning products including, Clorox Splash-less Cleaning Bleach* and Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner*, Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap from Colgate-Palmolive Company, and hand sanitizer from EcoLogic Solutions in the pilots taking place at Essex Market in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Building 77 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and The Laundry in BK with a goal of growing throughout the city and beyond. Harnessing the power of digital technology, Algramo’s smart refill system will incentivize reuse, improve operations, and strengthen customer relationships and the community. Their low-contact system meets rigorous health and safety standards, minimizing the various touch points between customers and their purchasing of a product and getting it home.

Customer experience, cost competitiveness, ease of integration at small businesses, and measurable impact on waste reduction will all be key priorities tested in these pilots. The aim is to ensure that this business model is applied in a way that works for busy New Yorkers. Accelerating systems change is not easy and paving the way forward for scalable “refill on the go” models requires continuous testing and honing of solutions. These pilots are a critical part of the learning process, building on successes thus far and advancing developments for the system as a whole.

“These pilots will be invaluable in proving the viability and superiority of refill models that eliminate the need for single-use plastic packaging and address social and economic barriers to more sustainable options,” says José Manuel Moller, CEO and Founder of Algramo.

Closed Loop Partners, the lead investor in Algramo and a pioneer of circular economy focused investments, is bringing Algramo to the United States. “Algramo is on the forefront of a new retail experience; their tech-enabled refill system optimizes the customer experience and meets the growing demand from customers for convenient, accessible and waste-free solutions. We are seeing a lot of market demand for this solution,” says Bridget Croke, Managing Director at Closed Loop Partners and Algramo Board Member.

Founded in 2012, Algramo began in Chile and already operates in over 2,000 family owned stores that reach over 325,000 end-customers in Santiago de Chile. This year, Algramo expanded to the U.S. and was selected to join Newlab’s Circular City Studio that empowers urban tech startups to help make New York more equitable, livable, and resilient.

“Colgate-Palmolive has committed to eliminate plastic waste by designing and delivering circular and alternative solutions for our products,” says Emily Fong Mitchell, General Manager, Personal Care North America, Colgate-Palmolive. “We are excited to partner with Algramo on this pilot as we work to achieve our ambition.”

“EcoLogic is proud to partner with Algramo and its synergistic mission of working towards a more sustainable future. We are thrilled to be working with Algramo’s modern and convenient reuse model to reduce our impact,“ says Anselm Doering, the CEO of EcoLogic.

*These products are not EPA registered

About Algramo
Algramo came into existence to solve a problem impacting millions of low-resource families: the poverty tax. This market failure occurs when low-resource families buy products in small formats and pay up to 40% more for products. Algramo solves the poverty tax with a reusable packaging distribution system that enables families to buy the exact quantity of products they need at bulk prices. Algramo is honored to bring together brands, retailers and packaging producers to work towards catalyzing reusable packaging on a globally significant scale to keep packaging in the economy and out of the environment. Learn more here.

About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. Investors include many of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and family offices interested in investments that provide strong financial returns and tangible social impact. Learn more here.