This Local Org Repurposes The Packaging of Your Online Shopping Haul

If you’ve been spending a lot of time online shopping, then you might have also been faced with the dilemma of too much bubble wrap and parcel packaging in your possessions.

This situation is exactly what pushed Rachelle Lacanlale to start JuanBag.

JuanBag is a social enterprise that aims to reduce unnecessary and single-use packaging by recycling and repurposing plastic parcel packaging. They collect plastic packaging from online shoppers like you and me. After cleaning the collected plastic paraphernalia, they crochet them into repurposed packaging bags—ready to be reused again.


Photo from JuanBag

But this social enterprise isn’t just about finding a new way to use plastic waste. Lacanlale shares with that the bigger goal is to create a working cycle that allows both consumers and sellers to choose to use recycled packaging all the way.

(RELATED: LOOK: This Local Brand Promotes Philippine History Through Its Eco-Friendly Tote Bags)

Prototype Crochet

Photo from JuanBag

So, what happens is once these plastic packagings have been reused into crocheted bags, JuanBag puts these repurposed bags back into circulation. They are again used for sellers’ shipping packaging.

Once it gets to the customers, they also have the option to give it back to JuanBag for it to be reused once again. That’s the beautiful cycle they’ve created!

Lacanlale also shares that they thought of bringing the sari-sari store tradition of “deposit” through their recycling process. So, they offer rebates and rewards for consumers who chose JuanBag for their purchase and return the crocheted recycled bag back!

Prototype Sewed

Photo from JuanBag

It’s just like leaving a “deposit” at your favorite sari-sari store for your soda glass bottle. Plus, returning the JuanBag is easy because of their designated bins and pick-up schedules.

Right now, JuanBag has already partnered with 5 online sellers while still in the experimental stage. Their aim is also to partner with vulnerable communities and to provide a source of livelihood through the upcycling of courier packaging.

Ate Gladys

Photo from JuanBag

Lacanlale reveals that one of their biggest challenges with a social enterprise like this is the lack of funding. They rely on volunteers who use their own bikes to pick up collected plastic packaging. With such a great idea that can help us build a better environment, they deserve all the help they can get!

If you also want to send in your used plastic packaging from all of your online shopping, you can just make sure that they’re clean and dry and that your personal information (ie. waybills) has been cut out. Just fold them up nicely and have them collected.

They prioritize the collection of courier packaging and bubble wrap, but they also have partners who can process the recycling of other plastic wastes as well.

Lacanlale shares one of their core values that helped create JuanBag: “The burden of proper waste disposal should not be put on the shoulders of consumers. For many years, we’ve been twisted and manipulated by this mindset.

We have to shift our perspective and look at the source.

We are one with the call for big businesses to rethink their business model in terms of packaging because it’s time we know who are accountable for our problem in waste.”

If you want to support JuanBag, volunteer your time, or even use their recycled bags for your business, reach out to them through their social media:

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