We don’t mind getting dirty with newly Certified B Corporation TOMbag

TOMbag, a Certified B Corporation, has created the world’s first truly circular solution for waste disposal – a reusable garbage bag that is made out of post-consumer waste using Global Recycled Standard certified plastic, which can be fully upcycled at the end of its life. 

TOMbag are on a mission to rid the world of single-use garbage bags – one of the most commonly used single-use products in the world – by providing an alternative reusable solution. They created a reusable product that replaces single-use garbage bags at home and on occasions such as camping, hiking or a beach trip. 

In celebration of their recent certification, we sat down with the team at TOMbag to learn more about their versatile reusable garbage bags and the ethos behind their operations. 

TOMbag on a kitchen bench - reusable garbage bag

Source: TOMbag

To start off, could you tell us about the driving factors behind TOMbag wanting to certify as a B Corp?

Being a B Corp allows us to be as transparent as possible and keep high standards in our environmental and social responsibility efforts. We have always been inspired by businesses that go above and beyond in what they are doing and we wanted to be a part of the community that uses business as a force for good. 

You would probably agree that the B Corp movement is full of innovative leaders, so what makes TOMbag unique as a Certified B Corporation and business? 

The whole idea behind TOMbag is quite unique as we are building a market niche from scratch. Bringing an innovative product to the market means that along the way we need to educate the public about what we offer and the whole philosophy behind it. We share knowledge about potential environmental impacts of using single-use trash bags and in general we are advocating for a switch to reusable products where it makes sense. 

TOMbag contents being emptied into the bin

Source: TOMbag

Apart from selling direct to consumers, we are trying to increase our impact by working with businesses that want to reduce their dependence on single-use plastic, including single-use waste bags.

One of our B2B clients has shared that in one calendar year they went through 80,000kg worth of single-use plastic trash bags across their operations in just one country.

That’s a lot of waste! We aim to help such businesses to minimise their plastic waste by switching to TOMbag reusable garbage bags. 

As a social enterprise, TOMbag has been trying to do good right from the start. We have been planting a tree in Australia for each product we sell via our partnership with One Tree Planted.

TOMbag reusable garbage bag being pulled out of a bin

Source: TOMbag

Tell us what you hope will become the norm across business practices in your industry?

We would love to see more businesses, whether they’re in our industry or not, embracing sustainable practices in their day-to-day operational activities. Things like composting food scraps and avoiding single-use products (coffee capsules, tea bags, bottles, cups, takeaway containers, cutlery, and of course, garbage bags!) would create a big impact if followed by multiple businesses. We believe that such practices should be a standard, not an exception. 

And are there any B Corps that inspired you to certify, or ones that you look to for inspiration?

Every B Corp is inspiring in their own unique way. But if we have to pick one, it would probably be KeepCup. They’re an Australian brand with a great story of overcoming initial hurdles and proving all the non-believers wrong. These legends disrupted the market by creating a new product category – a reusable coffee cup – and despite many challenges, they became an iconic brand. KeepCup products have great design, we love the fact that they are meant to be repaired if needed, and they eliminate the need for single-use coffee cups!

A little girl putting rubbish into a TOMbag

Source: TOMbag

Finally, do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps about the certification process?

If you are dreaming of your business becoming a B Corp, get started on the B Impact Assessment – it doesn’t cost anything and will give you an idea of whether your business could get to at least 80 points which is a minimum requirement in order to get certified right now. 

Don’t get stressed when starting your B Impact Assessment. It might look overwhelming at first as the assessment has lots of questions, but you can get through them easily, you just need a bit of time and patience.