By Aaron Redman
March 13th, 2011
Every year over 100 billion disposable, petroleum-based, plastic bags are consumed and thrown out in the US alone. Being nearly impossible to recycle, they needlessly consume resources; fill landfills and escape so often that studies have found that plastic bags make up over 25% of our litter. This poses serious danger to wildlife not to mention trashes up our landscapes. Bringing your own re-usable cloth bag to the grocery store or farmer’s market is a great start, but what about all the clear plastic bags which are needed for all those wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables you bought?
With the support of an ASU Innovation Challenge grant, a group of ASU students have developed a solution for you. FAVE Bags are an affordable, durable, and easy-to use alternative to all that wasteful plastic. Besides making check-out a cinch with its see-through mesh, FAVE Bags will keep all your fresh produce sorted and sanitary from the market to your fridge, with no sogginess.
While increasing personal Sustainability is very important, it is insufficient if the whole product life-cycle is not considered. For this reason FAVE Bags are being produced with an innovative model of production to bring the benefits of international trade and export directly to the people who need it most. In the countryside of El Salvador seven groups of women work out of their homes to produce FAVE Bags- earning money for their families without the often destructive stress of typical factory work (long hours, time-consuming transportation and low-wages). In the words of one El Salvadoran women entrepreneur, “I love this opportunity, by being able to work at my home; I can earn the money I need so that my kids can get ahead and have the great future I wish for them.”
You can purchase a FAVE bag for yourself at the ASU Farmers Market for the special price of $3.50 each or 3 for $10 and they are available any time at the Phoenix Urban Grocery and Tempe Farmer’s Market. Consider how you might lead a more Sustainable lifestyle and contribute to a more stable and just economy abroad.