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The Swag produce bag combats food waste and plastic pollution

The Swag

The Swag has become the world’s first non-toxic, sustainable, machine-washable and compostable food storage and produce bag that is scientifically proven to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for over two weeks. 

With the average Australian throwing away over $2,000 worth of food per household each year, The Swag enables Australians to lead healthier lives, reduce the cost of fresh produce to the household budget, save time and combat both food waste and plastic pollution. 

The Swag’s patented, three-layer fabric combination uses non-toxic, unbleached and unseeded cotton. The design allows for moisture to be pulled through the outer layers to enhance hydration, while the inner layers promote breathing and reduce ethylene build-up, so fruit and veggies keep fresh, crisp and nutrient-dense for longer. 

Sydney mum of two and the brains behind the brand, Peita Pini, was tired of throwing away rotting fruit and veggies after only a few days since purchasing. Determined to find a solution that empowered Australians to lead healthier lives, reduce the cost of fresh produce to the household budget and combat both food wastage and plastic pollution, Pini developed The Swag. 

“When I had children of my own, I was more conscious of the extent of fresh food waste in my own home. I started to notice condensation building up inside the plastic bag or container I was storing my veggies in,” Pini said. 

“I realised I was storing my food in toxic materials and watching them sweat. Fresh produce is living and breathing, and all living things need air and water to survive. So I set out to fix the problem. 

“I knew nothing of online retail, manufacturing, textiles or the patent and trademarking process. Years of trial and error in my kitchen resulted in creating a design that really worked.” 

This year, the SEDEX certified start-up teamed up with Australia’s Applied Horticulture Research to scientifically test the efficacy of The Swag’s design. The study compared the storage life and quality of produce in The Swag to storing in plastic, paper and no packaging in a domestic refrigerator. 

The results concluded that The Swag not only keeps produce fresh for over two weeks (and up to four), but in one trial extended the storage life of fruit and vegetables up to 38 per cent longer than when stored in plastic*. 

Replacing the need for single-use plastic in the home, The Swag also offers a range of alternative, ethically produced, sustainable products. This includes reusable tea bags, food wraps, bread bags, garment bags and wine chill bags. 

The Swag’s business model is purpose-driven on multiple levels. In its first year, The Swag donated 100 per cent of its profits to Destiny Rescue, a non-profit organisation dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating children from human trafficking. Currently, The Swag continues to donate 5 per cent of all profits to the organisation. 

After receiving Oprah’s endorsement in O Magazine as one of “Oprah’s Favourite Sustainable Products,” The Swag expanded into the US in 2017 and is now looking to expand into the EU market, with an ambitious mission to be in 1 billion households by 2030. 

“By 2030, I want to see Swag Australia empower over one billion people around the world to live waste and plastic-free, with a net profit that contributes to over 10,000 children being freed from slavery and provided long term rehabilitation,” Pini said. 

For more information, visit www.theswag.com.au and follow the brand on Instagram and Facebook: @theswag.com.au. 

 

*Applied Horticulture Research: The Swag Storage Testing, 2021 | Broccolini, parsley and blueberries kept in The Swag remained fresh and marketable for more than two weeks. In some cases, storage life increased up to four weeks. 

Studies found The Swag increased storage life of blueberries by 38 per cent compared to ordinary punnets only, and increased storage life of broccolini by 25 per cent compared to plastic 

Studies found The Swag increased storage life of veggies like broccoli for up to 4 weeks (25 per cent longer than plastic). 

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