Plastic bags are evil. They are not biodegradable, pollute our landfills, pollute our waterways, convince fish and ducks that they’re food… it’s pretty well established that they’re just bad news. While activists encourage consumers to try using fewer bags, or sometimes try to ban the use of plastic bags entirely, the truth is that these pleas often fall on deaf ears.
Which is where – thankfully – designers step in. Because where environmental activists fail, hip design often succeeds.
Waste Lb, the collaboration of designers Waleed Jad and Stephanie Dadour, is a response to the pervasive use of plastic shopping bags in Lebanon. Waste Lb reclaims flex, the material used to create billboards, in order to make reusable shopping bags such as the ones above and below. (Abu Yoyo, a designer based in Tel Aviv, also appropriates billboard materials in order to make bags.)
By using flex, Waste Lb encourages conservation in two ways: they encourage consumers to switch to reusable bags while simultaneously using material that would otherwise be discarded into a landfill. According to Dadour, “we know we’re not here to change the world or to educate people, but we thought we could sensitize people to reduce their use of plastic bags by promoting a product that can be reused.”
In addition to conserving material and saving landfill space, the use of flex has a distinct design function as well. It means that no two bags are alike, which appeals to the fashion conscious. The fashion conscious will also be happy to know that Waste Lb’s bags come in a few styles – oversized grocery bags, clutch bags for women, and beach bags. Jad and Dadour hope to someday expand into the realms of flex furniture as well.
Waste Lb’s message of conservation is made more universal by the fact that their flex bags are wallet-friendly. Their signature oversized shopping bag (the Kees Dukanne) has a fixed price of LL25,000.
According to its website, Waste Lb’s mission is “to provide consumers with a range of practical products enabling people to reduce, reuse and save.”
Waste Lb will be launching their flex bag collection this coming Saturday, June 27th at Souk El Tayeb in Beirut from 9am to 2pm.
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