Goedzak (“good bag”) – Bag Design for Upcycling


Currently in my house, we have a corner of the basement that is dedicated for things that we want to give away, or put out on garbage day, with the hope that someone will take it instead of the items ending up in a landfill.  This works well for the larger things that people can see from the road, but what about smaller things that are being thrown out?

A new garbage bag design had been created, called a Goedzak, which can be used for items that are being thrown away but are usable.  The way the bag works is that you fill up the bag, and anyone can take the items in the bag. This could include an old vase you don’t want, some pants that don’t fit, or other items that might be useful to someone else.

The bags are easy to spot, with their bright yellow color, and also easy to see what is inside, since half of the bag design is clear.  These especially will be useful for individuals living in cities, who do not have driveway or “tree lawn” garbage or dropoff areas like my neighborhood.

The name Goedzak translates in Dutch to “good guy” or “kind soul,” but is a pun on the words “good bag” or “good thing.”  The bags were designed by the design team called Waarmakers, which was the result of doing a design research project that explored designing for altruism, and making something to benefit others.

50,000 of the bags will be used as a test project in the Netherlands, in coordination with a second hand store.  The bags will be used in one city to start, and will be implemented in up to 20 other Dutch cities as the project develops.

Will the bags be useful, and help encourage reusing things instead of throwing things away?  Check out the progress of the project on the project website, or write to the designers at goedzak@waarmakers.nl.

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About the Author

KbaumlierKristen Baumlier’s work spans the full spectrum of interdisciplinary media, including performance, interactive installation, video and audio works.View all posts by Kbaumlier →

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