10:28 AM, January 23, 2009
The detritus of a school lunch isn’t pretty. It’s a smorgasbord of smashed crackers and fermenting edamame, most of it ensconced in little plastic bags destined for lifelong preservation in a landfill. Multiply that by millions, and you have the daily reality of the lunch-making American mom. Pack it, send it, trash it. Rewind and repeat.
That was the situation for Arlene Wilske — a mom (and former airline pilot) who decided to put an end to the plastic madness. When the Dana Point mother of two realized she was using six baggies a day packing lunches for her kids, she set to work designing a line of reusables. Wanting a material that was soft (so it fit in her kids’ lunch boxes), durable (to withstand repeated washings) and approved for use with food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, she decided upon lightweight, rip-stop nylon coated with the same FDA-approved material that’s used on food-processing-plant conveyor belts. The result was Dajo bags in two designs — sandwich and snack.