Dutch company VerdraaidGoed started the project ‘Beat the Bag’ near the end of 2015. Europe had changed their laws on plastic bags, making it illegal for shops to supply their customer with free plastic bags. This seemed like a logical moment for VerdraaidGoed to come up with a sustainable alternative for the plastic bag.
Beat the Bag offers a sustainable alternative for the polluting plastic bag
by using residual material to sew reusable bags.
In our local workshops we offer employment to people with a distance to the labor market.
We presented our plan to the Rotterdam government and managed to produce 1,000 bags in the first two years (2016 & 2017) thanks to their funding. This way we managed to employ twenty people and prevented more than 24.000m2 of residual material to be sent to the burning ovens.
These materials include: flags, banners, scaffolding cloth and display curtains. We get them from companies after they have served their purpose, so we can sew them into bags and send the finished bags back to these same companies.
The name Beat the Bag was chosen because the reasoning behind the project was the ‘defeat of the plastic bag. We all know how harmful plastic bags are especially when they pollute so much of our land and water. By turning advertising cloths that were made from and for companies into reusable bags, we help the circular economy thrive in the Netherlands and stimulate others to also use reusable bags instead of disposable plastic bags.
With Beat the Bag we not only help fight the use of disposable plastic bags, but we also help bring new life to waste materials. Within the signing-industry al lot of produced materials only live a short life before they get thrown away. A lot of the times this material is high-end, quality cloth that we in turn use to make equally high-end, quality bags. These bags are made entirely to the desire of our customers. This way worthless material is worth something again and will make its way back to the original “polluter” with a new purpose.
The bag as a means
It seems Beat the Bag is about selling bags, however we see this bag as a means to a higher end. By producing circular bags, we help give people who need it a chance to return to society and help unburden the environment.
From Beat the Bag to Sint Maarten’s Bag
In our eyes it is very much possible to also use this bag on Sint Maarten as a means to help the locals rebuild and to convert waste into products that are worth something.