Plastic be gone

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With new Victorian laws announced about cutting out single use plastic bags in the past week (did someone say #finally?), we thought it was time to introduce to you Envirosax. For many when you think about how to help the environment on a day to day basis, reusable bags is seems like a simple solution. But in reality, carting around large bags can become an inconvenience in itself. We decided to get a start at creating good habits around implementing small conscious changes into our routines and have found that these bags are the perfect solution. We spoke to the Envirosax team about their own journey into reducing waste.

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Tell us about Envirosax. How and when did it all begin?

Envirosax was founded in Australia in 2004 by Belinda Coker. Belinda, her husband Mark, and their three small children, had purchased a pristine rainforest property in the Currumbin Valley in South East Queensland and were trying to live as sustainably as possible. They were using solar power, permaculture gardens, and filtered rainwater and incorporated as many recycled and reusable products as possible. Belinda was looking at the environmental impact caused by single use products and found that the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag was a major problem.

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What inspired you to create reusable bags?

Belinda had a background in fashion from her earlier career as a milliner and realised that the only way to encourage widespread use of reusable shopping bags was to make them look irresistible from a design perspective. After all, plain old cotton bags had been around for years but people still use disposable bags so a new approach was clearly needed. From the outset the company’s focus has been on great design in tandem with sustainability.

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What simple tips do you have for people who want to begin their waste free journey?

I would say, think about everything that you use and start with the biggest polluters. Single-use plastic bags are one of the worst in terms of pollution because they do not biodegrade and often end up in landfill or, worse, the ocean. Other items to look at include things like paper coffee cups, disposable water bottles, prepackaged groceries etc. There are alternatives for each of those products out there – it just takes a little commitment to get started. Recyclable is good. Reusable is better.

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What impacts do you hope your products will have in the war against waste?

Each of our bags can be reused up to 4,000 times before they wear out, potentially replacing 4,000 single use plastic bags. We have sold well over 10 million Envirosax bags since 2004. That’s up to 40 billion plastic bags that are no longer needed and that will not end up in our oceans. That’s something we can be proud of.

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Where do you hope to see Envirosax in the future?

Envirosax continues to be a market leader in reusable shopping bags. I’d like to see that continue and to see our profile raised to the point where everyone has heard of Envirosax and keeps one in their glove box. I’d like to see the word Envirosax become the generic term for reusable bags in the same way that, for a long time, Hoover was for vacuum cleaners and Thermos was for insulated flasks. Above all, I’d like to see a global change in the way we consume disposable products and for Envirosax to be a big part of that change.

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We  have been road testing these bags for a little while and love the convenience and durability that they offer. You can find these designs and many others on the Envirosax website. 

Ainsley and Kat