Compost Freezer bags
Major east coast cities like New York and Boston are piloting curbside composting services this year. That means millions of people will be collecting their home food waste for the first time. Living in a city with municipal composting collection, I've learned the hard way that it's best to keep my compost in the freezer. It keeps the smells and bugs away, and is super easy to deal with on trash day, when you simply chuck a frozen loaf of carrot peels and coffee grounds in the bin.
However, there isn't really much commercially available to help consumers store compost this way. People think of compost as trash, and store it out in the open with the recycling and landfill. If freezing your compost was more widely understood as a better option, might more folks might be inclined to participate? With Not Rotten I wanted to find out if a new product and clever marketing could support behavior change.
At this stage I wanted to design a prototype quickly, using existing ready-mades. I began researching readily available bags and printing techniques, hunting for the most sustainable options with the best performance. I needed to consider paper weight, chemical additives like wet strength, ink solvents, etc. I also needed to pick a bag size that would fit in every kind of freezer (bottom, top, side-by-side, doors).
Armed with a curated selection of bags of different sizes, paper weights, and handle types, I sent out test bags to a group of participants in New York City. They were asked to use the bags and report back on their preferences. The feedback was halpful in determining that despite the factr that they already don't leak, people want them to be lined with a bioplastic film to ensure confidence. Grocery-style handles were preferred and folks were all over the map on sizing.