TAMPA, Fla. — A lot has changed because of the coronavirus pandemic. We wear masks to the grocery store and wipe everything down to make sure it's clean and safe.
Those disinfecting wipes pile up near the shopping carts after just a couple hours, often overflowing in a trash bin. That's what Adam Labadie saw when he went to the store with his wife.
"I was like, hold on, there has to be a better way to do this," Labadie said. He went home and started drawing out what he thought was a better, more sustainable way to clean a lot of shopping carts. That was six years ago.
Fast-forward six years and Labadie's ideas finally came to life. He lost his job because of COVID-19. His wife told him to dig out his old drawings and make it a reality because his invention was needed now more than ever.
His career in distribution made it easy for him to make the connections he needed to create prototypes and start conversations with companies that could use the Arch Cart Sanitizer.
Labadie has been working out of his garage on the project. It's a remote control operated sanitizer. It works by spraying a fine mist of an EPA-approved cleaning chemical onto shopping carts that are pushed underneath the arch. Labadie says it costs companies a few cents for each disinfecting wipe they put out but with the Arch Cart Sanitizer, companies can clean more carts for less money.
Labadie says it's also more sustainable, creating less waste. He says it's also safer. It coats every surface of the cart, not just the handles. Since the arch is remotely operated and not motion sensored, kids can't run underneath the arch and get sprayed by disinfectant.
"I'm just really humbled that people are talking about this and interested in it. To hear people appreciate what was in my mind and what I've brought to market, it's amazing," Labadie said. "I've never had these emotions before to understand what my impact could be with this, it's bigger than I ever thought."
He couldn't disclose the exact companies he's talking with about using the Arch Cart Sanitizer, but he said he's in conversation with some of the largest brands and grocery chains to test his invention, so you may see it at a store near you pretty soon.
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