Last year, Japanese artist Sho Shibuya raised awareness for the global plastic pollution crisis with a 144-page book, called PLASTIC PAPER, which catalogued the range of designs printed on single-use plastic bags collected across the streets of New York City.
Three weeks after the book launched, New York announced a ban on single-use plastic bags. Seeing a loophole in the ban, Shibuya and his design studio Placeholder have created the Biodegradable Bamboo Bag.
Realizing that restaurants and other places serving uncooked or prepared foods could continue to offer plastic bags, the design imprint has created a bag made out of a single sheet of renewable, sustainable bamboo fiber for “hungry New Yorkers.” Based off of a design Shibuya came across in Taiwan, the bag uses less material than the average paper bag and can be safely composted or disposed of.
“I’ve talked at length about how waste and single-use items felt shameful for me, rooted in my belief in the twin concepts of yaoyoruzu no-kami and mottainai; two Shinto ideas that hold that everything is precious and nothing should be wasted…” Shibuya said. “We know it’s important for sustainable habits to be convenient, and this gives restaurants an opportunity to avoid plastic and act in the interest of the planet, without annoying their customers.”
Take a closer look at the bag’s design in the slideshow above. Expect the Biodegradable Bamboo Bag to drop on PLASTIC PAPER’s website beginning March 1 at 6 a.m. EST — the same day the single-use plastic bag ban will go into effect.