RootPhi Rethinks Recycling

Brian Witlin, cofounder or RootPhi, is interested in rethinking recyclability to retain the intrinsic beauty of the first generation object. One of his explorations in this direction is being leveraged by Timbuk2 to create a new generation of messenger bags made from plastic trash.


Witlin's patent pending machine bonds plastic trash together to make a stronger material that can be cut and sewn. It works best with plastic bags like you get from the grocery store or you find protecting your morning newspaper from the rain. The trash isn't completely melted so you can still see the original details and colors. We got the chance to make a bag and decided to use bubble wrap. The resulting texture, pictured right (click to zoom), uses layers of both large and small bubble wrap and is pretty great!

Timbuk2 is still experimenting with this new material and how to get you to bring in your trash and have a bag made, so stay tuned for details. In the mean time, we have a couple prototypes to give away—just use the contact form below to let us know what trash you think would make the best looking bag and be sure to select "Timbuk2 Giveaway" from the pull-down menu. The contest ends this Friday, 27 April 2007, at 11:59pm EST. As the bags are still prototypes, winners will be encouraged to give some feedback.