Reduce, recycle, re-use

This handy little waste basket both uses and stores the ubiquitous plastic grocery bags leftover from shopping. I first created it in design school, where it was the winner of the Pratt + Umbra Design Competition.



Designer & Entrepreneur


Independent, Brooklyn, NY


The Challenge: Reduce everyday waste

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. While many states have put measures in order to reduce these numbers, they are still very common. Most people have a place in their home, a drawer or closet, full of these bags. I decided one day when carrying home some groceries to try to design a product to reduce waste and make use of these everyday leftovers.

Development: Bringing the product to life

Taking this idea from prototype to the store shelf involved a lot of negotiating and a little luck. I secured a manufacturing agreement in New York based on retail interest from IKEA. Together, the manufacturer and I created the engineering design files and the plastic mold was made. Later, when the Swedish brand exited the deal, we decided to produce the product without a retailer, and market it independently. After a number of blogs picked up the story and boutique stores started selling the Urbano, I built a relationship with an accessories brand that agreed to takeover distribution. Since then, about 10,000 units have been sold per year, and for a brief time I became "that trash can guy."


And it keeps on growing...

The Urbano has been in dozens of design magazines and blogs. Here are a few places link, link, link. It is available to buy here and here.

Don't forget the video!