Win a reusable shopping bag from reSACKel

Filed in Blog, Product reviews by on February 10, 2009 123 Comments
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Brian Pemberton CEO of reSACKel reusable shopping bagsI was contacted by Brian, who has set up a company called reSACKel in Hong Kong.

According to Brian, EVERYTHING in Hong Kong comes wrapped in plastic or comes with its own plastic bag. We know how he feels, right!?

Apparently, Hong Kong gives away on average 6 disposable shopping bags per person per day. That’s 36 million a day! In addition, an estimated 7 million, 25kg rice sacks per year are dumped in the landfill.

Meanwhile, in our green and pleasant land only one in 200 carrier bags is recycled and our supermarkets dish out a landfill swelling 17Β½ billion disposable carrier bags per year.blossom-shopper

At reSACKel, Brian decided to do something about the problem of plastic disposable bags and rice sack waste. He takes the rice sacks, sticks them in a cauldron, says a spell and with a wave of his magic wand, makes strong, colourful, reusable shopping bags – pure genius!

The sacks are reused, not recycled, so all the original designs from the sacks remain, making the bags interesting and unique.

In addition, the business is kept as environmentally sound as possible. No resource or energy hungry processes are used: the sacks are simply cleaned, cut and stitched (Ok, I lied about the magic spell bit) . No chemicals or industrial process are used – the plastic is not shredded, broken down or made into pellets before use.

Being the kind gent that he is, Brian sent us some reusable bags to try out and they are fabulous!

all blue shopperThey are incredibly strong; which is always my first criteria – bottles of wine olive oil weigh a lot you know πŸ˜‰ But when you consider that the sacks were designed to take 25kgs of rice originally, it makes sense that they will be durable.

The second great feature is that because of the nature of the design, these bags stand up by themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cotton bags, but they are a bit hard to hold AND get things into on occasions; especially when you’re trying to hold hands with a wriggly 7 year old at the same time. You can pop one of these beauties at the end of the checkout and it will stand to attention for you so that you can fill it one handed.

The bags are wipe clean, which is good news if you’re unfortunate to have a spillage and the handles are made from the same fabric as the bag, which doesn’t cut into your hand – no more red and white banding across your fingers when you come home from the store.

And the winning factor for me is that mine has a panda on it! These are so cute – they might be a boring old rice bags to our friends in Hong Kong, but to meΒ  they are a piece of culture, something unique and funky to panda shopperbe seen with.

Last but not least, they roll up very small. This is something that is crucial for me and for many people when dipping a toe into reusable bag land – you need to be able to shove them in your pocket or bag and have them with you all the time so that you don’t arrive at the checkout bagless.

With Valentine’s Day knocking at our door, we’ve decided to spread our love for the you and the environment by giving away some of these gorgeous bags. I have three to dish out – two blue bags and one panda. Now these bags are not yet available in the UK, so this is your chance to get something exclusive to proudly swing around at your nearest checkout; or wherever it is you proudly swing things about.

All you have to do is post a comment below and we’ll be using a funky online random number generator gizmo to pick the winners. You can’t choose which bag I send you, but if you ask very nicely, you might just get a panda one πŸ˜‰ Use a real email address please, because I’ll be using it to contact you.

I’ll be picking the numbers on Valentine’s night, so be quick!

If you simply cannot wait to get your grubby mitts on a unique bag, then Brian will post 3 bags to you for Β£16, which includes post and packing. You’ll get one blue, one panda and one blossom. Alternatively, put Β£30 into his eco friendly palm and you’ll get two of each style of bag. Email him at [email protected] for details.
He is looking for retailers too, so if you’re interested in stocking them, why not contact him?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (123)

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  1. michelle says:

    The shopping bags look very practical, stylish and environmentally friendly! x x x

  2. michelle says:

    the bags look very practical and stylish and obviously better for the environment! x x

  3. Becky says:

    Brilliant idea! Very funky!

  4. Cher Waite says:

    I love anything kitsch and kooky and this is environmentally friendly too!! I need one!

  5. anita cain says:

    fab bag, great large storage

  6. Claire says:

    What lovely bags! And one-handed filling and wipe clean – brilliant! xx

  7. Kris says:

    Oh, they’re pretty gorgeous – I’m a fiend for bags, and it’s possible I might be skating over the line from having them because they are useful to *ahem* mindless consumption. But I use them…

    Good luck in your business Brian πŸ™‚

  8. Sheena says:

    A girl can never have enough bags and now we can justify it! Fab designs too – congratulations!

  9. Lucy B says:

    Kawaii!! I love Panda’s πŸ˜€

  10. sabrina kellett says:

    Love these funky bags….look so much better than ones that say sainsburys down the side or aldi lol πŸ™‚

  11. Flippin’ heck – they’re great! I love the design. I’ve even taken to using reusable bags as handbags as the variety is great and you can cram loadsa junk in them! xxx

  12. Mrs A Jones says:

    These bags look really trendy and colourful x

  13. Denise says:

    wow they look wonderful x

  14. Jaimie Stevenson-Cox says:

    I want a Panda one!!

  15. Karen says:

    They’re fabulous, and I really love the panda bag and the one with the big flower. Much nicer than the supermarket reusable bags.

  16. Christina says:

    They are really pretty but also useful. I love eco bags that look good too.

  17. Paula Mulholland says:

    a remarkable receptacle

  18. Kris says:

    Is the funky random generator called LMG perchance πŸ™‚

  19. heather shaw says:

    Oh wow! They are all so cute! why are rice bags in the UK so boring?? If i wont win i may buy one anyway!

  20. John Costigane says:

    The functionality is a big plus, especially with loose produce. If nobody likes a particular style, I will certainly take it off your hands.

  21. Dawn says:

    What a cool bag to take shopping … you can never have too many reuseable bags.

  22. Nichola says:

    Eco friendly bags that look great!

  23. Lora says:

    The panda bag is really cute (pretty please ;)?) They look like a great design, nice and big but not too floppy like the cotton ones, and strong too.

  24. jackie youel says:

    the bags look great and such a fab idea,and better still there eco friendly ,would love to go shopping with one .

  25. Another Mrs Green says:

    Rather yummy bags, I have to say (boo hiss to boring UK rice bags!!) May well invest in a set of 3 if I don’t win (and that way I’d also get a flower one ;-D)

  26. Melissa says:

    Love bags and ADORE these. I was in Hong Kong last year and no matter what I did or said ended up with collection of plastic bags. I brought them home with me and handed out one with each of gift I brought home, and I still see them occasionally being re-used by friends. I think I’d keep these ones all to myself.

  27. Jackie says:

    Hi MRS G, (ladies and gents). I’ve been lurking around your site for a good few months now and have decided to come out of lurkdom for one of these cool bags. Am lovin the Flower one but if I do win a blue one would be fine.

    Would like to say I love your site and all the comments and ideas that everyone contributes. it has certainly helped me with some issues on the 3 Rs front. Carry on the good work everyone.

  28. Chloe Nightingale says:

    Is it un-green to own a sizeable collection of reusable shopping bags? I love them and have a bunch — these rice-bag totes look fabulous!!

  29. darren lavin says:

    Kawaii!! so cute…

  30. Fiona says:

    The bags look fab and if I don’t win I’ll be buying one or two and suggesting to retailers to do the same!

  31. Mrs Jackson says:

    I saw a lady with a special box that she used for recycling her wine bottles that probably gave her an excuse to buy a load in bulk in the first place lol. Great bags.

  32. Fantastic Idea, I love these bags. They appear very practicle, I like my organic cotton bags and how they easily roll up, but hate the floppyness of them. I’m about to have a 3rd little one and plan on “wearing” him everywhere. but with an autistic 4 year old and a fidgety 7 year old as well!…..

    Even if I don’t win I think I will get some anyway!

  33. Cat says:

    They are gorgeous, what a great idea

  34. M Lee says:

    Reusable bags are a must and so fashionable!

  35. Rosemary Trusdale says:

    WOW what fab bags so colourful,i would love to go shopping carrying one of these

  36. What fantastic bags, I love re-usable bage and always use them when I go shopping.

  37. Leanda says:

    These look great, kwwo the Panda, I love the plum blossom & the dragon!

  38. Claire Davies says:

    What lovely bags, and a great talking point which can spark conversations to who knows where!

  39. AlexH says:

    What a fab idea, practical, funky and environmentally friendly!!!

  40. Gill A says:

    Great idea. Great looking bags as well!

  41. Cea says:

    I love them!! How fabulous! I have an onya bag, a boxy hessian one from EcoDyfi and several rather dodgy pvc ones inherited from my granny but now I’m looking at delicious Pandas!! (fingers crossed now…)

  42. Jenniwren12 says:

    What superb bags. would love one! Good luck everyone

  43. Joanne says:

    Love the bags, what a super idea. Green useful and classy.

  44. Emma says:

    I think every shop should sell these bags as they are enviromentally friendly and will last for along time which are also very stylish . with these bags we can kiss good buy to plastic carrier bags .

  45. Mark says:

    What an excellent idea.
    Would love one of these i think they look great…

  46. Kerry waters says:

    I love the bags really quirky and different, especially like the fact that there strong enough for bottles etc making them very pratical for grocery shopping, well done.

  47. Susie says:

    It looks like I’m not alone in saying that I love these bags. Pretty but practical – what more could you want?

  48. emma says:

    would love one of these they look great

  49. Sam Grinstead says:

    I love these bags, i always use reuseable bags, but these have to be the most stylish bags i have seen.:)

  50. Emma W Ignall says:

    Gorgeous bags such a great idea. Pretty too.

  51. TT says:

    Stunning sacks. Amazing what you can recycle.

  52. Liz says:

    Fabulous idea and the bags look funky as well πŸ™‚

  53. Heather Kendall says:

    What a fantastic idea, each bag looks so unique, and no
    advertising, well done. Great Idea +++++

  54. Kris says:

    @Another Mrs Green: It’s true, the flower one is really fab πŸ™‚

  55. Ruth Barnes says:

    I love using and re-using bags, especially nice looking ones!

  56. Alexandra Mendes says:

    Very nice bags πŸ™‚

  57. Sam says:

    Oh please enter me, they are lovely.

  58. CLAIR LEWIS says:

    Wicked love the piccies.

    Good Luck Everyone πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  59. Kate Sutherland-West says:

    these look fab – would be over the moon if i was lucky enough to win one. Make my shopping trip even more enjoyable.

  60. Samantha Croxford says:

    What a fab idea – and so handy for rice as well! πŸ˜‰

    And of course, maybe a few other things since there looks like enough room! πŸ˜‰

  61. Fantastic bags-The best idea since sliced bread!!

  62. Lucy Sands says:

    These look more like works of art – they’d be great to use as beach bags, really cool! Love the vibrant colours.

  63. susannah southurst says:

    fab bags

  64. sarah allcoat says:

    very harajuku, my daughter would love one πŸ™‚

  65. Susan says:

    Can i have the poppy one please πŸ˜€

  66. Melinda says:

    What a good perspn to recycle and make these bags. I love the fact that they are so strong. And I like the images on them too.

  67. Poppy says:

    What a ‘rice’ idea and so simple too πŸ˜‰

  68. Solange says:

    Plastic Aint My Bag

  69. Sarah says:

    Corrr.. they’re just ace!

  70. Andrew Dommett says:

    What a brill Idea = Great Bags!

  71. roz says:

    What lovely bags, be proud to use one.

  72. Michelle says:

    What fantastic designs on the bags. Hope Brian has much success in converting peoples ideas to using less plastic bags. Now I’m off to the site to check out what designs I might like if I don’t win one.

  73. Megan says:

    Those are so cute! I hope I can win one. πŸ™‚

  74. rachel cameron says:

    A little effort can make BIG changes, these resackel bags are a lovely concept and a lot nicer than may alteratives. I’d love to win one!

  75. Dormouse says:

    Look great & brilliant to store our expanding collection of reusable bags in!!

  76. tam says:

    It’s a new baginning.

  77. Anne MacKenzie says:

    What fantastic looking bags; bound to become a collectors item and very fashionable.

  78. ANNE TIERNAN says:

    you`r onto a winner, well done

  79. Sally says:

    I was sold on them the minute you mentioned being able to carry more olive oil. I have to limit hubby to 2 bottles of beer a fortnight when i go to the organic shop as my bag is on its last legs:)

  80. Cara Leitch says:

    Wow these bags are gorgeous!!!

  81. Norma McGill says:

    I am all in favour of helping the environment and these bags look great!!

  82. Deb from Boston says:

    These might even be cool enough for my 16 yo daughter to actually use – will you mail to the US if I win?

  83. baggsy one!!!!they are sooooo coooool!

  84. Kris says:

    Gosh – still going strong…!

  85. Victoria Cairns says:

    They look much nicer and more individual than normal reusable bags – and they are recycled!

  86. Gorgeous!!!! So many cloth bags are, well, frankly quite ugly and embarrassing to tote. I do it anyway, but these would be a pleasure to be seen with. Should I happen to win, I’ll be donating my prize to someone in the UK!

  87. Hazel Lemar says:

    Just the ticket!

  88. These are utterly gorgeous. I love the one with the huge flower on. it. πŸ˜€

  89. Oh my word. I just had to come back to say…blinkey blimey Mrs G. Did you know you’ve got 89 comments on this post. That’s fantastic. A huge hello to everyone….and I think this comment will bump it up to 90 πŸ˜€ x

  90. maisie says:

    I like the style of my Sainsbugs bag bug not the design, these would be great.

    Will have to see about getting some, as they would be great to use for going to the beach, for towels and wet cossies etc.

  91. Fiona Hawthorn says:

    These bags are so funky – I’m loving the designs!!

  92. Lisa Backhouse says:

    I love the flower design one. Much better than the boring bag i have the moment

  93. Kris says:

    I feel it’s only fair to say something nice about the blue one too πŸ™‚ It does look more like it had a prior life, but perhaps that helps it to be the funky cousin!

  94. Clare says:

    Lovely bags, I have no luck with winning things but will be contacting Brian to buy 3.

  95. Flippa xXx says:

    I want one! It’s a great idea to make your bags to reuse out of already reused materials! Can’t ask for much more than that! x

  96. Flippa xXx says:

    I want one!!! It’s a great idea to make your bags to reuse out of already reused materials! Can’t ask for much more than that! x

  97. Alice Hindley says:

    The bags are stylish unique and quite chic

  98. Sheila Bound says:

    I love the designs .Much nicer than other reuseable bags I’ve seen.

  99. yolanda says:

    oh this looks great. I like reusable bags

  100. ALI says:

    Be fantastic, ditch the plastic!

  101. Samantha Mackie says:

    Wow! They are so unique! The flipside is I’d probably shop more to show it off! πŸ™‚

  102. Sebastien Durieu says:

    Recycle should be the way all products are made

  103. Sarah says:

    What a fabulous idea, I’m off to share it around the web….. And I wonder if they’d go well on Ethics Trading?

  104. Kate says:

    Gorgeous! I love reusable bags and always need more!

  105. Cindy V says:

    I make bags out of used foil 1 lb coffee bags. This is a great idea.

  106. John Costigane says:

    @Cindy V: Buy coffee beans, or ground, loose and put in a home container. That way you have no waste.

  107. Sarah says:

    I’ve contacted them with a view to adding these to my range! We’ll see what happens next.

  108. Katy says:

    What a fantastic idea!

  109. Ablissa says:

    I am car free, and do all my shopping on bicycle or scooter. This would be a great bag to to sit in between my feet on the scoots. Count me in!

  110. kat says:

    Ooh love these, wouldnt I be the star of the show walking round Tesco with these!!!

  111. I love them – they are gorgeous!

  112. Claire Sims says:

    Wow how gorgeous are they ! Love them, I do believe if I had one of these I would actually remember and be proud to take it with me shopping. The panda is just adorable ! Please please please pick me !!!

  113. Vanessa says:

    These look great. We should all be using them!

  114. Stephanie Acton says:

    Ooh I love those bags, they’re gorgeous. I’m longing to go to China but alas, as my funds aren’t quite up to it just yet, It would be cool to carry around a little bit of China with me.

  115. Sarah Whittington says:

    Wow what an awesome bag,Pratical,reusable for my shopping needs,better than disposable carrier bags which don’t help our enviroment.
    The desiges are fab

  116. Claire Peregrine says:

    I love these bags, the designs are great and when you are food shopping you definately need something a little more sturdy, would be great if these where available in supermarkets.

  117. julie earnshaw says:

    Strong, practical and beautiful. What’s not to like?
    Idea’s like this make being eco-friendly easy and pleasurable, so now there’s NO EXCUSE!

  118. angie skinner says:

    It’s ecological, looks good, and for taking shopping. Thats my sort of bag xxxxxx

  119. John Speirs says:

    Great looking bags, and good for the environment.

  120. Dawn Walsh says:

    These are great. I’d rather use something like this than a horrid plastic bag any day.

  121. Caroline says:

    I could use one of these to take my home-made jams to the market.

  122. Karen says:

    i think it is a fantastic idea. Judging by the people posting a request they will be popular. I would love to be considered. Thank you

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