A colourful and longer-lasting, zero-waste solution for covering leftovers and dishes, wrapping sandwiches in lunchboxes or covering cheese and butter – just like cling film. Except SUPA Wraps (Single Use Plastic Alternative) are vibrantly printed fabrics infused with locally harvested beeswax.
SUPA was launched after founder, Karoline Hanks, visited Maputaland at the beginning of 2017. She was horrified to find one of the more remote stretches of beach (far from any community or river) strewn with bottle tops and other plastic debris, all of it so evidently from the ocean.
She described a profound and moving close encounter with a Leatherback female turtle laying her eggs. ‘Watching her return to the ocean, I had my heart in mouth, knowing the perils she faced in what is rather quickly becoming a plastic soup – all thanks to us. So what can I do? What can we all do? I asked myself.’
Start at an individual level? Karoline started making her own fresh produce fabric bags at home. ‘I marketed them and the demand grew. I soon realised that I needed to increase production and find others to make them for me!’ Karoline explains. Masiphumelele’s “Work for Love” sewing trainees took up the challenge and have produced well over 2000 bags since they started a few months ago, taking 10% on every bag. The fresh produce bags provide an excellent alternative to the single-use plastic barrier bags provided at fresh produce counters and till points.
The SUPA range will be extending its fresh produce fabric bags and shweshwe fabric wraps, to the “forget-me-not” SUPA pouch, which clips onto a handbag. This is stuffed with three collapsible shoppers and three fresh produce bags. The pouch is permanently clipped to one’s bag, so there is no longer the risk of leaving your reusables at home and finding yourself stranded at the till and obliged to take plastic shopping bags!