By Monica Pierce
Photos by Emma Thompson
With over eight million tons of plastic dumped in our oceans each year, long-time friends Amaia Biain and Sarah Leoni have always tried to do their part to limit their use of plastic. But noting how often they forgot their reusable bags when shopping, the two began to brainstorm a more convenient and stylish way to fight the plastic battle.
What they came up with was a to-go kit containing reusable bags and other supplies that can be used every day to reduce their need for disposable plastic. When Biain and Leoni’s kit caught the attention of their family and friends, the duo realized they could amplify their impact by making it available to others.
As a nod to their shared Italian heritage and their lifelong reverence for nature, they named their company Paguro which means “hermit crab” in Italian; a creature known for being a great reuser.
In early 2019, Biain and Leoni launched their flagship kit, the Crab Bag, which includes two compact, foldable grocery bags, three produce bags (small, medium and large), a boxed utensil set made from sturdy, biodegradable wheat straw, a stainless steel drinking straw with reusable metal straw cleaner and a handmade cloth napkin, all tucked nicely into a stylish, zippered canvas pouch that is hand-stamped with the Paguro logo. The bag can easily be kept in a purse, backpack, bike basket or glove compartment so it’s always ready for use when you need it.
“What we’re offering with the Crab Bag is value and convenience, making it easy for people to reduce their environmental impact in a fun and practical way,” says Leoni. “Most people want to use less plastic but aren’t sure where to start. That’s where Paguro comes in.”
One standard kit sells for $22 which is a great value considering it would cost an individual closer to $40 to put together a comparable kit on their own.
Since launching in early 2019, the company has sold a few hundred bags, but they realize the market for such a product is immense.
“We hear a lot about doing our part to reduce, reuse, and recycle. While those three steps are all important, our product highlights reducing and reusing because recycling is the least efficient of those options. There is so much we could still be doing to reduce our use of plastic in the first place,” Biain observes. “Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing we can do as individuals to really make a difference, but small daily shifts in habits like using a Crab Bag can add up to significant change.”
In addition to having a couple of kits on hand for your own family, the Paguro Crab Bag also makes a great gift for friends, co-workers, teachers – anyone who wants to do their part to reduce their use of plastic.
The Paguro team plans to create additional versions of the kit, including a travel kit and one for children. In the meantime, the standard kit can be customized, such as trading utensils for bags or vice-versa, depending on your needs.
Biain and Leoni are also in discussions with grocery and other retail stores to make the Paguro Crab Bag available where it is needed most. Until then, the kits are available for purchase at www.pagurokits.com. The company will ship anywhere in the world and even hand-deliver in Boise and Portland where Biain and Leoni live, respectively.
So, if you’re looking for a small way to make a big impact, or a great custom Boise gift idea, grab a Paguro Crab Bag and start reusing. Available in February at the Greenbelt Store in Garden City.
To learn more about the company and to order Paguro Crab Bags, visit www.pagurokits.com.