Bottles to bags: GreenSmart turn coke bottles into laptop bags

1114thumb.jpgThat plastic bottle on your desk could have a second life as a bag. People have been able to make fabric out of recycling plastic bottles for a while, but Greensmart is one of the first companies making a consumer business out of it.

Plastic bottles (PET #1) are a serious environmental issue – they don’t decompose and in the United States alone, 230 bottles per person go to landfill per year. That’s more than one every two days and as Greensmart say is enough crushed bottles to fill the Rose Bowl Stadium in California every two weeks.

It’s a problem. So while making laptop bags out of recycled cola bottles won’t solve the whole issue, it’s a step. Bag-making company Greensmart have come out with a process to get fabric from bottles which goes a bit like this: used bottles are collected, then ground up into flakes, the flakes are washed separated from impurities and made into fiber by a process of polymerization, then spun into yarn and woven into their fabrics. According to Greensmart, the overall process uses less energy than making polyester out of refined petroleum.

Paul from Greensmart promises me that his bags are not just green, they’re actually good too: “It’s all minus the crappy quality that most “green” gear suffers from.”


They do a range of products: laptop sleeves, messenger bags, lunch bags (dinky) and laptop friendly rucksacks. And though I’ve seen a fair few laptop bags in my time, I do like the designs here. Their rucksacks are above, lunch bags below. But they are a little pricey at £58 ($89) for the Kea rucksack for example.

But 10% of each sale benefits the WWF, and each item has an animal name if you’re into that kind of thing.

See the Greensmart bag range online on

Anna Leach


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