The plastic bag is an object that we completely take for granted. You probably have a dozen tucked under your kitchen sink from the last time you went grocery shopping. Have you ever thought about how many plastic bags you throw away in a week? a month? a year? Statistically speaking, America throws away 500,000,000,000 plastic bags a year. These bags do not biodegrade for 400-4000 years. Although some states like California are adopting new laws to outlaw plastic bags and switch to something biodegradable, progress in this arena is slow and short sighted. The best thing we can do is recycle, and I’m not talking about putting a bunch a bags out with your bottles and glass. I am talking about finding new uses for bags or creating new objects from plastic bags.
Only 1-3% of plastic bags ever get recycled in the United States, and the reason is mostly about money. The existing processes for recycling bags just costs too much. Even if we reused a bag once, just went to the supermarket with our bags from the last trip or with tote bags, we could severely reduce the waste from plastic that we create. It’s not just about reducing piles of bags either. As these bags break down they release harmful chemicals into the soil which can eventually hit our groundwater. Many bags that are discarded also end up in the ocean or turn into urban tumbleweeds.
Making PBF or plastic bag fabric is not our idea but it is a very underutilized material that we saw an opportunity to elevate into fashionable and versatile objects.