Local company working to reduce plastic waste

January 13, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A new, locally founded, clean technology company is working to prevent pollution from single-use plastics.

EcoTank, which was created by Orangeville residents Jordon Francis and Robbie Mair, provides an innovative and eco-friendly solution for refilling windshield washer fluid, eliminating the need for plastic jugs.

The first installation of an EcoTank in all of North America happened at the 7-Eleven on Broadway last month, with the Ecotank founders being joined by Mayor Sandy Brown, 7-Eleven representative Tamim Waizi, and Dufferin–Caledon MP Kyle Seeback for the launch.

“It’s exciting to see some local entrepreneurs introducing a business idea to the automotive market that helps our environment. If you extrapolate the amount of windshield washer fluid that is inevitably lost every time you fill your washer tank, the EcoTank system will prevent those spills and save millions of litres of chemical fluid from finding its way into our groundwater, rivers, or lakes,” said Mayor Brown, regarding the installation of four EcoTank stations at 7-Eleven on Dec. 10.

“The easy-to-use filling station also removes the plastic washer jug from the equation – again saving millions of 4 litre plastic containers from ending up in a landfill. Congratulations to the EcoTank team on their Canadian launch – and all the best as they grow this business across North America creating jobs right here in Orangeville!”

Francis told the Citizen his business is hoping to do at least 240 more installations of EcoTank’s across Canada, with many going into Ontario.

There are currently over 500 units set up across 19 countries, with the majority of them being in Europe.

The business now has a location at 685 Riddell Rd Unit 4 recently and Mair said he’s hoping the business can start up manufacturing and assembly locally, later this year or in 2023.

Mair and Francis have been best friends since childhood, and together came up with the idea for EcoTank. With the global push to eliminate single use plastics, the pair thought up the EcoTank solution, providing a clean way for windshield wiper fluid to be distributed.

“If you go to any gas station in between the months of November to April-March, you’ll see just like a floor  of jugs scattered on the ground or in the garbage cans overflowing, and it doesn’t make sense,” said Mair.

He also noted that the windshield washer fluid jugs can’t be recycled unless they go through a thorough washing process because there’s methanol in the fluid, which is a containment that can’t be recycled.

EcoTank estimates that if its fluid dispensers were installed at just 15 per cent of gas stations in North America, there would be 500 tons less plastic packaging from windshield washer fluid in a year.

With 289 million registered vehicles in the United States and 35 million in Canada, and the average person using about two jugs of washer fluid per year, mass adoption of EcoTank could result in roughly 650 million less jugs going into landfills each year.

“That’s not just a small amount,” said Mair.

Another benefit is that the fuel filler of the windshield washer fluid dispenser is fitted to go right into your vehicle, so there aren’t any spills, Francis told the Citizen.

Trying to tilt a 4-litre jug and pour the fluid into your windshield washer tank can result in a little bit of a mess, especially when it’s windy outside or the jug is full. Therefore, using EcoTank protects groundwater and makes for a more positive user experience.

With four different windshield washer stations set up at the local 7-Eleven, Mair and Francis said they’d encourage Orangeville residents to test it out.

“If you need washer fluid, and you’re interested in making an impact…it’s convenient and it’s right downtown, go give it a try. Every jug counts,” said Francis.

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