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Management consulting. Product. Strategy.

  • Writer's pictureYoel Frischoff

CashBAG® - Saving the Environment One Bag At a Time

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Logo design: Osher Sahar
CashBag Logo

Disposables and pollution

The world sustains a continuous bombardment of disposable plastic bags. These are old news already: From the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to your nearest landfill, to your favorite nature walk - The environment is awash with plastic bags.

Make no mistake: Plastic bags are a great packaging solution: Dirt cheap, strong, inert, impermeable - They serve their purpose well. Alas, these very same qualities also mean that they would not dissolve. At most, they will disintegrate into micro particles, bound to impregnate fisheries and entire marine food chains - killing fauna, or waiting until digested by humans.

Indeed, a growing number of countries set to ban LDPE shopping bags entirely. Meanwhile, billions of them are produced, given to consumers, and disposed of to the environment.

Showing a garbage heap with seagulls and a lot of plastic bag refuse
Garbage Heap



Local lawmakers have imposed Pigovian taxation on disposable bags, with a reported limited success: Authorities in Israel report that a $0.03 tax for LDPE shopping bags has resulted with 40% reduction in consumption.

The problem, however, lies in incentive alignment: Consumers and shop owners may be forced to pay and pass through the tax, supposedly to offset the externalities they impose on the environment.

They are never incentivized to collect the used bags, and put them to responsible disposable scheme.

The tax proceeds are presumably used to clean up the environment, but one may argue this may prove a Herculean task.


...And Deposit

Plastic bottle disposal machine
Plastic bottle disposal machine

Enters container deposit schemes. By levying a set deposit on containers, to be reimbursed on recollection, authorities have managed to create the right incentives to people: Either to return containers to collection centers, or have other people to collect them from the street.


CashBAG® - Deposit Refund Machine

Design Sketch: Yoel Frischoff 2018
Plastic bag recycling machine

The CashBAG machine collects disposable plastic bags, refunding consumers by the deposit amount, via electronic payments or coupon printouts. Designed to stand in stores and urban venues, it is a front-loading, Fridge size machine.

Mechanical design: Aviv Shwartz
A plastic bag recycling machine

The machine's front includes an inlet, and a Venturi coupled pipe gently sucks single bag at a time, as the consumer is notified by the quantity of bags absorbed, about of refund due on their behalf. Ingested bags are fed to a shredder, and the shreds fill up a big collection bag.

Mechanical design: Aviv Shwartz
Plastic bag recycling machine schematics

Embedded anti vandal features protect the mechanism and prevent fraud.

UI design: Osher Sahar
Plastic bag recycling machine UI

A value chain that makes sense

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