The Goedzak is a trash bag that signals to others that the contents are free for the taking and still work. It’s not trash.

It was created by Dutch designers Simon Akkaya and Maarten Heijltjes to "accommodate the people uncomfortable reaching down and 'going through the garbage.'"

The idea is not just to make it easier for garbage pickers, but to highlight an act of recycling that indicates a more thoughtful relationship with stuff.

The firm has made a deal with a second-hand store to collect the bags and resell the content.

2013-01-15

Co.Exist

A Transparent Trash Bag For Garbage That Isn't Ready To Be Thrown Away

If you need to get rid of some of your stuff, but would rather have others take it than have it go to the landfill, just slip it in a Goedzak so passersby can see what’s available before the garbage truck comes.

People are lazy. So lazy, in fact, many can’t be bothered to donate their unwanted possessions to a thrift store or sell them online. Instead, they kick perfectly good stuff--whether it’s clothes or appliances--to the curb.

And it’s at the curb where socially-minded Dutch designer Simon Akkaya saw an opportunity to intervene and help useable goods find a second home. His recent design, the Goedzak, is a trash bag that signals to others that the contents within aren’t actually trash.

Akkaya explains the thought that went into what, at first glance, is a plastic bag with a yellow stripe.

The transparent part is to accommodate the people uncomfortable reaching down and 'going through the garbage’ (to some it might feel that way). So even these people can sneak a peek and take out something when no-one is looking.

Yellow is used to make the bag stand out "but not just for people to notice that there is a bag with stuff in it that might still be of use to them," but also to highlight an act that indicates a more thoughtful relationship with stuff, what Akkaya calls "showcasing the altruistic (and sustainable) act on the streets."

While the design studio of Akkaya and his partner Maarten Heijltjes couldn’t find a municipality to partner with around the Goedzak, they’ve now found a second-hand-store franchise to run a pilot. "They will pick up the bags and put the usable goods in their stores. The rest is sorted and/or recycled," says Akkaya. A victory for sustainably minded lazy folk, for whom recycling their goods will be as easy as taking out the trash.

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6 Comments

  • Mike Kennedy

    Dumb idea. Having to buy a bag, just to throw it out, and the bag doesn't tell anyone what it's about.

    In Canada, you garbage bags have to be clear anyway. And once your garbage bags on the side of the road, anyone's allowed to go through them.

    So, this bag is redundant.

  • sanne

    Dumb reaction, you are making assumptions which you then criticise. 
    - Why do you assume people need to buy this bag? - The name (in dutch) implies its use. Additional communication could be a good idea, but judge it for what it is: a concept-design.     - If you'd look at the picture you might have guessed it: in the Netherlands (and many other countries) bags are not transparent. - And the act of going through random bags on the street, is in fact illegal in the Netherlands. This idea tries to facilitate it in a way that it could break legislation open.   

    The world is bigger than your horizon, mike. I think this very fine blog deserves more nuanced responses. Good critics are great, but to me this sounds like negativism. Now that is something that we really don't need in developing ideas that could improve our world.

  • Mike Kennedy

    Also, if you really wanted to give it away, you'd donate it, or give it away on Kijiji or Craigslist, not throw it out in a fancy plastic bag you had to buy.

  • Honest_Miss

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't really see anything on the bag itself explaining what it is. If they plan on doing this, there should be at least /some/ indication of what this thing is supposed to be on the bag. Not just a great big Helvetica logo.

    No one is going to know what it is, so they'll have to rely entirely on more traditional advertising and word of mouth from users to others. It would be a lot easier to have a clear graphic or short statement so people passing can immediately see what it is and how it works. That should create a little intrigue.

  • fruition Media

    But, Zap,

    Can we really expect people too lazy to separate their garbage, zealous enough to purchase a bag to recycle?

    Not to mention, that bag is so stylish -- perhaps it should be the next luxury recycled tote.