Social Enterprise Name? TOMbag
Where does TOMbag affect change?
We sell primarily in Australia which means that our reusable solution to garbage disposal affects mainly Australian environment. With that being said, we also sell to other countries and our second biggest market at the moment is America.
Tell us about TOMbag?
TOMbag is a social enterprise on a mission to rid the world of single-use garbage bags with our sustainable and reusable alternatives. We’ve created the world’s first reusable garbage bag – made out of post-consumer waste using GRS (Global Recycling Standard) certified recycled plastic, it’s extremely durable, easily washable and 100% waterproof. We are here to replace over 425 billion single-use plastic garbage bags used by global households every single year.
At TOMbag we believe that there is no difference between single-use plastic shopping bags and single-use plastic garbage bags, yet the latter fly under the radar of society. We want to change that by offering to consumers a reusable and truly circular alternative. We make our reusable garbage bags out of post-consumer waste and offer to our customers an opportunity to upcycle their TOMbags at the end of their life (via TerraCycle Zero Waste Box). We also plant a tree for each sale made (via partnership with One Tree Planted).
How long have you been operating?
Since the end of 2019
How did the idea start?
When I (Sasha, Co-Founder) was pregnant with our daughter Lyla, I was trying to ditch as much single-use plastic from our household as possible – for the environmental and health reasons. One day I was looking at our kitchen garbage bin and realized that we are still using single-use garbage bags. When trying to find a reusable solution, I couldn’t find anything but reusable cloth diaper bags that were promoted as reusable bin liners. I couldn’t believe that in the world where more or less everything has a reusable alternative, there is no purposefully designed reusable garbage bag. That’s how it’s all started.
How can people get involved? Are you open to collaboration – if so, what kind?
We can help you to ditch the last piece of single-use plastic from your life – the garbage bag. We are open to any type of collaboration. Just reach out to us and share your ideas, please.
Are you raising funds for anything specific or rallying for a specific cause right now?
At the moment we are collecting pre-orders for our TOMbag small size (capacity 12-20L, fits smaller bin sizes – great for your kitchen, bathroom, office bins, camping, etc.) So if you think to ditch your single-use garbage bags please support our mission!
Any interesting facts you can share about TOMbag or your industry?
We started TOMbag in November 2019 when our daughter was just 6 weeks old. Although this time was tough for us as new parents, the reality around us (bushfire season 2019/2020) and the emerging climate crisis motivated us to work hard for a better future. The design of our first product – TOMbag reusable garbage bag, size large was born during my night breastfeeding sessions 🙂
What’s the overall vision for TOMbag?
To be a meaningful contributor to the reversal of climate change.
What’s your ‘why’? What drives you to do what you do at TOMbag?
Nobody would argue that single-use plastic is good for our environment. It contributes to climate change, release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, pollute the environment, endanger wildlife and eventually impacts human health. As single-use garbage bags is an item that is present at nearly every household and is used on a daily basis, it creates an enormous amount of single-use plastic waste. We create our reusable close-loop solution for garbage disposal to fight single-use plastic pollution caused by single-use garbage bags.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I also would like to add that the most commonly used single-use plastic garbage bags alternatives – compostable and biodegradable bags – can’t be considered a sustainable and scalable solution. In their recent report “Checking Out on Plastics II” Greenpeace and the Environmental Investigation Agency, explain that any type of bioplastics (including biodegradable and compostable) draws resource from an agricultural land that would otherwise feed the growing population.
In addition, both types of bioplastics require special conditions in order to degrade that are not met when in landfill (temperatures over 50C/122 F for biodegradables and special industrial composting facilities for compostables which is inapplicable for a unique use case of single-use garbage bags most of which end up in landfills). You might have already heard that when in landfill, compostable bags release methane – a greenhouse gas at least 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide.