The tiny fridge that keeps the family warm on the move is the latest gadget to make headlines.
It’s an ideal option for families who want to keep a lid on food waste and save money.
It doesn’t require electricity, can run for weeks, and can keep a fridge for up to two weeks in a sealed container.
And because it uses recycled materials, it’s clean.
“There are other products that can do that, but this is the one we’ve chosen because it’s environmentally friendly and it’s low-cost,” says Dr Andrew Macdonald, who’s worked with recycling company Bimbo.
The company made its first batch of its small fridge last year and has since tested it out at the Queensland Science Centre in Brisbane, where it has been on display.
It was a hit with its customers, who loved the small fridge.
The idea for the fridge came about after Dr Macdonald’s daughter, who was a nurse, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
“Her condition is a bit different from mine.
She has a milder form of CF,” he says.
“We don’t see the signs of cystic Fibrosis but we do have a mild form of it.”
“The doctor said she should have a fridge because if she didn’t have a little fridge she would be a little bit stressed.”
After a trial period in Queensland, the fridge was launched in November this year, and it has quickly become one of the most popular products in the Australian supermarket. “
And then, when we got to Brisbane, we got some feedback from other people who had fridge problems, and we got it into production.”
After a trial period in Queensland, the fridge was launched in November this year, and it has quickly become one of the most popular products in the Australian supermarket.
“A lot of people love it, and they want it for themselves, so we have to try and keep it up,” says Bimbu CEO Tim Koeppel.
“If people don’t have the fridge, we can’t ship it overseas and then get them a fridge from the US.”
To help the fridge survive the test period, Bimbus partnered with a company called MicroFusion that makes high-tech materials for industrial use.
The fridge was designed by an engineering company called Hyperion and the materials were made by a firm called Carbonate.
The microfusion materials have the same shape and size as their conventional counterparts and are coated with titanium dioxide, which is more dense than steel.
This gives the fridge more durability than steel and it lasts up to 30 days in the sealed container, but it also means it has to be kept cold for longer.
The aluminium housing can be recycled, but the metal plates are not.
The carbonate coating allows the microfusions aluminium to withstand temperatures ranging from -20C to 180C and is ideal for keeping the fridge from melting down in the heat of a busy home.
“You’re not just using a fridge as a storage device, you’re using it as a heating device, so it has a huge advantage over other storage systems that can only go for a few hours,” says Mr Koeppens.
“I think it’s a fantastic way to save money.”
The fridge can store up to six containers of food and four liters of water and can be kept in the fridge for more than six weeks.
In a typical week, the product saves $80.
The product has been making its way to supermarkets in the US, and in the coming months, it will be rolling out in Australia.
“The first Australian stores that we opened have been very enthusiastic about it, they’re using the fridge in their stores, and that’s a great sign because it shows that people are getting interested in it,” says CEO Tim.
“It’s an amazing product.”
And with the Australian government set to ban the sale of non-renewable energy in February, the company believes the company can make a big difference in reducing the waste in our society.
“They have a very strong commitment to sustainable development, and so they are trying to find new ways to recycle and to reuse things,” says Tim.
The small fridge will be available to retailers and to the public from January 2018.
“This is just one of many projects we’re making to reduce our emissions,” says Professor Mark Breslin, of the University of Queensland.
“So it’s important to remember that, as we go forward, it is possible that this will continue to become a regular part of our lives.”