Years ago, Sam showed me a photograph he had taken in a desolate area outside of a city somewhere in Northern Africa. There was nothing particularly special about the scene itself, other than a ton of odd, shredded, white strips hanging from a stand of trees. I was shocked to learn that these strips were actually pieces of plastic bag, (no different than the basic carrier bags offered at any retail store), which had made their way out of the city and were now permanently impaled on the trees’ thorns.
That, of course, is just a tiny example of the pervasively negative impact plastics continue to have on the environment. Over the years, thanks to some pretty sound statistics and well-researched documentaries, the message has finally reached the general population. By this point, most people understand that they need to do their part and should refrain from using plastics as often as possible.
One easy way in which we can all help out is by substituting our usual plastic shopping bags with one of the many reusable options available. While some “reusables” can be quite sturdy and cost effective, others easily wear out, rip and/or stain. It’s often a case of “hit-and-miss,” and many consumers end up going back to plastic simply because they’re done spending money on options that don’t work. Sam and I, on the other hand, are still fighting the good fight and have been on the hunt for reusables that are long-wearing, easy to clean, and most importantly, not made of a material which Julie is keen on chewing apart in the middle of the night. (Apparently, the delectable crunch of Metro’s reusable bags is just too enticing for our little kitty-girl.) Anyway, our search finally ended a few weeks ago, thanks to TDW’s latest Favourite: a Canadian company called Bagnetic!
Bagnetic was started by Ryan Bautista back in 2009, as a simple way in which to help reduce our collective carbon footprint. (Read more about his entrepreneurial journey here.) Bagnetic’s bags are made of smooth ripstop, come in a bunch of different colours, have magnetic grommets, can fit on most existing metal grocery bag stands, are easy to clean, fold down to pocket size, hold a full 40 lbs., and can be used in combination with the Bagnetic Hook, a massive foam-handled, finger-saving carabineer. Sam and I have been using the Bagnetic Hooks for years, but we finally took the next step and invested in eight of their black reusable bags.
First Impression: Really liked how the bags all “stack” together via their magnetic grommets.
In Three Words: Sturdy, Well-Finished, Compact.
Cost: $7.99 (Canadian) for a set of two bags. Bagnetic Hooks are $5.99 (Canadian) each. Prices exclude taxes and shipping.
Best Feature: Each bag is designed to sit flat when full and won’t tip over.
Excited About: Showing more grocery cashiers how these bags fit onto their check-out racks — seeing someone’s initial reaction is awesome.
Something Unexpected: Bagnetic offers a Recycling Program! “Bagnetic collects all defective and end of life bags and sends off to the manufacturer for a recycle rebate. We also source out local companies that wish to use reuse and recycle the fabric and magnets. As a bonus: if your bags are at end of life cycle, we will gladly give you a discount off your returned bag and ensure that it gets recycled properly.“
Value for Money: Sure, there are less expensive versions out there, but we’re sold on Bagnetic’s quality, versatility and environmental do-goodliness. (Yes, that’s a word.)