The Stashers bag aims to be a long lasting substitute for single use plastic bags and its durability and food safety make it useful for consumers, especially those who use plastic bags frequently. While their message and values seem to be honestly rooted in doing better by people and the planet, Stashers needs to supply more detailed transparency through their supply chain so we can evaluate overseas working conditions and also the sustainability of their raw materials and ensure we are holding them to standards that are actually beneficial for the planet.
Stasher bags are made of Platinum Silicone. This a combination of sand (silica) and oxygen to create their durable, lifelong, and indefinitely reusable bags. The goal of the Stasher bag is to eliminate plastic waste and ease the reliance on recycling by creating a long lasting product that reduces plastic use. The platinum silicone packaging also has some notable benefits to consumers: it is not made with any toxic materials and passes both the FDA and EU food safety standards. While eliminating these dangerous substances from coming in contact with food is a great step for a sustainable brand, the use of sand as a main resource for this product is concerning. Sand is the second most used resource on Earth and results in environmental degradation when dredged for projects such as buildings, glass, etc. It is unclear where Stashers is sourcing their sand from, and I would ask for more transparency in their supply chain to know if the sand is being sustainably sourced.
Stashers bags are designed in California and manufactured in China. While Stasher’s states that they work to ensure equitable and safe factory conditions, there was no evidence found to support or discredit this. The out-sourced labor is still concerning in terms of green house gas emissions for shipping, though Stashers has made efforts to reduce emissions via travel by including a home repair kit (so the product can be mended without sending it in). I would be curious to see if Stashers has implemented other emission reducing strategies through out their supply chain, rather than just on the consumer end. Once you have a Stashers bag you can use it indefinitely and if it gets damaged you can send it back to Stashers where they will recycle it for projects such as children’s play grounds, making it a closed loop product. However the product does not biodegrade on its own due to the high grade silicone, so consumers will have to return the bags to Stashers or mend the bags themselves for the bags to be fully recyclable!
Stashers was started by Kat Nouri, an Iranian immigrant. After becoming a mother she noticed how much single use plastic she was using and wanted to make a change. Kat’s industrial silicone background led her to the Stashers bag which has a Red Dot award for product design, her company is Green Business and B-Corp certified meaning it meets certain sustainability and work place equity goals, along with also being a WEBCN certified women owned business. Additionally the company is partnered with organizations such as Surfrider and the Coral Reef Alliance and they donate 1% of their profits towards non-profits doing environmental work. Stashers also works with Inner City Providers in Berkeley, CA to help hire a diverse team that is built of community members. Kat’s goal is to eliminate plastic has gone well with Stashers preventing 1 billion plastic bags from entering our oceans to date.