One person’s trash, another’s tote bag

Transforming juice boxes and aluminum cans into stylish and functional bags.

Credit: Bazura Biz

Larry Duprey has converted waste into wealth by supporting a Filipino women’s co-op in its effort to transform juice boxes and aluminum cans into stylish and functional tote bags and purses. Frustrated by Western society’s wastefulness, the Canadian founder and president of Bazura Biz wanted to give garbage a new life and support environmental stewardship and fair trade at the same time.

The so-called Bazura bags get their name from basura, the Filipino word for garbage, but thanks to an entrepreneurial women’s co-op in the Philippines, materials are recycled before they can be sent to the landfill.

“We hope our bags will inspire others to recycle post-consumer products into beautiful utilitarian items,” says Duprey. “The positive economic and environmental impact on the Filipino communities we work with has been profound.”

Bazura continues to turn waste into wealth in poorer countries. Its latest innovative offerings include recycled billboard advertising banners from Vietnam that are cleverly crafted into yoga-mat carriers and tote bags.

Bazura bags are available online at and are also available at The Funky Little Shop on Granville Island, and at Flying Fish International at North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay Market.