This vending machine can help save the environment — and save you money

In the battle against plastic pollution, Henry Pino has devised a weapon. He calls it the Ecopod, or as he likes to describe it: A vending machine with an environmental conscience. Creating a ‘circular economy’ EcoPod is built upon the circular economy model, which aims to reduce waste by prolonging the use of items like plastic containers by finding ways to refill or reuse them. “I’ve always been in love with the beautiful marine environment that surrounds my home city of Miami,” said Pino, 55. “With the circular economy [model], our goal is to help facilitate a more sustainable retail model that protects the health of our planet.” Susan Collins, president of California-based nonprofit Container Recycling Institute, thinks Ecopod has …