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Brief Published: 9 Sep 2021

Australian Start-Up Launches Reusable Garbage Bag


In The Plastics Landscape: 2021, we explored innovative products and responses to the global plastic pollution crisis. Single-use plastic bags including garbage bags are one of the major pollutants of the world – Australian start-up TOMbag has created a greener alternative.

TOMbag’s launch is the world’s first reusable garbage bag for the home or office. In 2019, 3.3 billion trash bags were used and tossed in Australia (Fast Company, 2021). Most trash bags end up in landfills and do not biodegrade.

TOMbag offers a convenient solution to addressing this issue. The bag’s durable material is made from recycled plastic water bottles. The design is simple and smart – available in two sizes, the bag comes with an adjustable cord stopper to tighten around the bin. It also includes handles at both the top and bottom of the bag, making it easy to carry and tip over into a dumpster. It is pricier than a box of disposable trash bags, but TOMbag is thick, leakproof and machine-washable, designed to last at least one year. 

Further illustrating the brand’s drive for a circular economy, after a consumer is done with their bag, they can return it to TOMbag. It is then packed in a “Zero Waste Box” and shipped to TerraCycle to be recycled into new products. TOMbag also plants a tree in Australia for every purchase.

This launch addresses one of today’s most pressing environmental issues with an efficient product and mission-led branding. For more on building a waste-free future, see Designing Out Waste and New Rules, New Roles, and for more innovations hailing from Australia, read Design Close-Up: Australia.