A woman in Tel Aviv tries a bottle of water from the Woosh station. A woman in Tel Aviv tries a bottle of water from the Woosh station. A woman in Tel Aviv tries a bottle of water from the Woosh station. (Photo: YouTube)

Woosh kiosks help kick the plastic bottle habit

Novel water refilling stations may be coming soon to a city near you.

You’re jogging through the park and need a drink. But after watching the sloppy Great Dane take a slurp from a public water fountain, you’re less inclined to drink. Lucky for you, though, there's Woosh.

The process is simple: Walk to a Woosh kiosk, insert your personal bottle upside down, and it gets sterilized; turn it upward, and Woosh adds clean, cold water. For pennies a refill, Woosh provides filtered water with the same taste and health benefits as spring water – but without the waste. In essence, the company is reinventing the public drinking fountain.

The Woosh station is unlocked with a subscription card, so only those who pay or have permission can access the water hub. This way, slobbery dogs, or the guy who likes to rinse his tennis shoes in the water fountain, won’t have access.

Woosh, which started with a pilot program in Israel, is hoping to save Americans big bucks on one-time water bottles, and help save the planet from the perils of plastic.

“Pollution due to plastic bottles is a serious and urgent global threat," says Daniella Russo, CEO of Think Beyond Plastic, an organization based in New York City that helps educate and accelerate businesses looking to address plastic pollution. "It is also an untapped innovation and business opportunity, which Woosh leverages exceptionally well with an elegant, simple and practical solution."

This August, Woosh plans to open its first American station, at the 35,000-student Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. On hand will be customer service representatives who will show students and staff how to fill up the Woosh way.

By the end of November, Woosh officials hope the device will be deployed on a large scale in San Francisco and several other major American cities.

And there's an added bonus to saving money and the planet at the same time. Itay Zamir, the company CEO, tells From The Grapevine that Woosh starts as water but ends up as a smart device. What does that mean? “We have added a lot of applications such as a free Wi-Fi from each station, which also serves as an Internet hotspot on the streets, as a charging dock for mobiles, and as digital maps on screen,” to help people get around, he explains.

So, after your next jog – will you Woosh?

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