Wiping down shopping carts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 could soon be a thing of the past.
The disinfecting method has become a common sight in the coronavirus era. But a group of Belgian engineers wanted to figure out an easier way. Their solution is a metal box. You wheel in the cart, close the door, and the cart is blasted with ultraviolet light to kill any germs. "We have the equivalent of 2,000 suns in terms of UVC power received by the cart. So, the viruses have no chance of getting out," says designer Jean Demarteau.
Exposure to UVC, a short-wave ultraviolet light, kills or inactivates microorganisms. Three stores in Belgium are currently trying the machines. "We asked the customers to disinfect the trolleys themselves and after a few months, there was a lot of waste. We immediately took the offer to buy this machine. It's simply practical,” says supermarket owner Henri Bormans.
The basic model of the cart cleaner costs just over $8,000.
Other countries are also trying to harness this cleaning power. In China, banks are using UV light to sterilize paper money. In Argentina, robots are sent through buses, disinfecting hard to reach places with UV light.