In January, another piece of research drew attention to the fact that plastics pollute every corner of the earth. Everywhere on the planet, cigarette butts, old CDs, supermarket bags, and nylons litter the landscape. 
In December, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to phase out the use of plastic microbeads in hand soaps, toothpaste, and other personal care products starting in 2017. These microbeads collect in waterways and eventually flow into the ocean. It’s a huge, positive step in the right direction, but it hardly makes a dent in the plastics problem.
It can seem like an overwhelming problem to “regular” people like you and me, who aren’t sure what to do about it apart from recycling, reusing, and cutting back on buying certain products. But one woman, an artist and product designer, is taking her love of the environment to a new level by creating reusable sandwich bags.
Kat Nouri recognizes the durability and creative possibilities of plastic, but she knows that it comes at a price.
“Plastic is a big part of our daily lives. There’s no denying it,” said Nouri. “But every time we use more of it, we’re harming ourselves and Earth.”
That’s why, in January, she launched Stasher, a line of sandwich bags made entirely of silicone, a natural substance made of sand, rock, and oxygen. The silicone bags work just like regular plastic bags – they’re pinch-press and air-tight – but unlike Ziploc bags, they’re completely biodegradable. They’re also petroleum-free and contain no PVC, latex, or phthalates.
The bags are easy to clean and can be reused for at least 3 years and can be frozen, which means they’re less likely to wind up in landfills, or worse, lying around on the side of the highway.
The bags’ non-porous surface inhibits bacterial growth. A 3-D pocket allows for extra storage, and a see-through window allows you to see what is inside the bag. You can even label them with dry-erase markers.
“As a mother of three, I’ve been making school lunches for years. Every time I used a plastic self-sealing bag, I’d think ‘what a waste.’ But when it came to ease, convenience and functionality, plastic bags were unmatched—there were no good alternatives out there.” 
Nouri launched her company, Modern Twist, in 2005. In addition to the Stash bags, the firm manufactures silicone-based placemats, coasters, and various baby products including bibs, cups, and food containers.
Nouri spent 3 years and $500,000 researching and developing the eco-friendly bags, and the venture nearly bankrupt her. But her children inspired her to create a cleaner, healthier world.
“As consumers, we focus more on what we eat,” said Nouri, who has three kids. “To me, especially as a mom, it was just as important to evaluate where we are putting our food. I was packing three lunches a day in plastic bags.”
The bags are currently sandwich-size, though Nouri already has plans to develop larger sizes. They’ll be available online later this month, and for sale in retail stores in March for between $12.99 and $14.00 apiece. Sure, they’re pricier than a box of plastic lunch bags, but Stasher bags are more of an investment that will save you money over the long haul while helping to save the earth from lethal damage.
“I hope that these bags can become a symbol of how we are rethinking plastic and caring for our planet,” Nouri said. 
 The Guardian
 Business Wire
 CNN Money Featured article image sourced from CNN
Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.