Have you ever walked all the way to a subway station and realized you forgot your face mask?
A Toronto-based company is trying to make personal protective equipment (PPE) more available by installing vending machines that sell face masks and hand sanitizer in public spaces across Canada.
Klear Vending already has four machines set up in Ontario and Alberta, and plans to install 15 more in the coming weeks.
“Masks are now mandatory in public places, so we wanted to provide an easy and convenient way for people to grab PPE on the go,” founder Noam Hazan said in a news release.
The architect and designer by training came up with the idea after forgetting his mask on a trip to the grocery store early in the pandemic.
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The vending machines are already selling supplies at Toronto’s Yonge and Sheppard Centre and Lawrence Allen Centre, with a third machine coming to the Yonge Eglinton Centre next week.
Edmonton’s Mill Woods Town Centre also has a PPE vending machine, and so does Barrie, Ontario’s Georgian Mall. Calgary’s 5th and Third East Village shopping centre will be getting a mask vending machine soon as well.
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The machines stock child and adult-sized masks, hand sanitizer, and phone disinfectant wipes. The product cost between $3.95 and $25.95.
The machines accept cards, not cash, and purchases can also be made through the Monyx smartphone app to avoid touching altogether.
“I also don’t see us moving away from masks any time soon and in the same way that we wear different styles of socks or ties, we are going to want to have different styles of masks,” Hazan said.