While it’s now impossible to ignore the ecological disasters facing the planet, the onslaught of crisis-level information may have lessened our power to appreciate the scale of the challenge that faces us.
But, every so often, a statistic comes along that still has the power to shock: only 0.5% of the 1 million plastic bags consumed around the world every minute are recycled. In other words, in the time it’s taken you to read these two paragraphs, 158,000 plastic bags have been dumped into the ground or tossed into the ocean.
This industrial-scale pollution was a real concern for designers Ursus Negenborn and Rune Kippervik, the people behind Tiptop Things Ltd. They wanted something small and re-usable to use instead — something small enough to be dropped into a pocket and forgotten about.
Their solution, the Nanobag, now on its third installation, aims to be “the most practical and comfortable reusable shopping bag possible”. Boasting a weight of just 21g, fabric half the thickness of human hair, and an ability to carry loads of up to 30kg, the product has blown through its fundraising goal on Kickstarter, raising €203,000 from more than 6,500 backers — almost 6000% of its goal.
“Reusable bags are great for the environment, but normally they’re bulky or poor quality,” they add. “The compact super-soft fabric easily folds into your pocket, and does away with impractical reusable shopping bags.”
The creators also stress that as they’re committed to making a climate-positive product, they will plant one mangrove tree with the Eden Reforestation Project for each bag sold. A single mangrove tree is not only essential in protecting coastlines from floods, but can also store around 1,750 pounds of carbon over a 40-year lifespan.
The nanobag aims to be the answer to huge amounts of plastic waste. The only question is whether we can find similarly accessible solutions for other everyday, plastic-heavy products.