Project Everest

Adopted Experiment

[FEB 19] [REPURPOSE] Offer Test - Recycled Paper Grocery Bag Alternative

In September 2018, the Timor-Leste Government decided that a “Zero Plastic Policy” would be soon implemented throughout Timor-Leste which involves the banning of plastic bags. At the seminar when this policy was announced, the former President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta stated that "Timor as a state, as a nation and as a community, has to carry out its own initiatives to solve the problem of plastic". One of the solutions has been to import biodegradable cassava bags from Indonesia. ERS Repurpose has come up with an alternative solution which is to create bags from recycled cardboard and paper. Not only would this be a great repurposing option for paper and cardboard, but if a local producer of the bags could be found it would support local businesses and development of Dili.


Kor Timor, like Project Everest Ventures, is a social business operating in Dili that sells bags, books, boxes and other products using both Tais made by villagers in rural communities in Timor and repurposed paper. It is currently the only business in Timor-Leste that recycles their own paper. The business, established by an Australian volunteer, is now lead by Savio, a Timorese man whose prime objective is to educate and train Timorese people and generate more employment opportunities.


Our intention is to collaborate with Kor Timor to create a bag from recycled cardboard. Kor Timor currently receive large donations of A4 paper which they recycle and use to create books. We would like to explore the possibility of repurposing cardboard to produce a sturdier paper that can be folded into a bag. The bag could then be distributed at grocery stores and other businesses around Dili as a plastic bag alternative. The first step that needs to be taken prior to making the bag alternative is to establish whether businesses would be willing to adopt our paper bag alternative.


Lean Phase: Offer Testing



  1. Businesses will support the use of a recycled paper alternative to plastic bags.

  2. All business would be willing to use recycled paper over plastic if the price is the same and the quality of the product is high.


Time Box: 1 week


Success Metric:


We want to measure the percentage of businesses that would be willing to use recycled paper bags over plastic bags.

We will be asking 6 local business we have found that use plastic bags at the moment.


Green Light - Proceed

Contact Kor Timor with the statistics and start to develop the idea of making paper bags

Success point:

50% are interested in using recycled paper bags. Any less than 50 would mean majority of targeted businesses don’t want the product.

Orange Light - Optimise

Contact more businesses

Failure Point:

10% of business like the idea of using recycled paper bags over plastic bags

Red Light - Failure Protocol

Share this information with Kor Timor and research other products


Experiment Build:

  1. Research local companies with interests in sustainability and provide plastic bags and packaging with their goods and services.

  2. Contact the companies directly through in-person interviews and discuss their thoughts on using recycled paper bags over plastic. If there is an interest, discuss the potential PEV recycling paper bag project and gauge their eagerness to be involved. Note for future.

  3. Collate findings from verbal interviews and compare to create a holistic representation of local interest in a recycled paper bag product. Share this information in upcoming meeting with Kor Timor.


The questions that this experiment aims to answer are as follows:

  • Do you provide bags for your customers?
  • Are they plastic?
  • How much do you buy your bags for?
  • How many bags do you purchase in one order?
  • How long does the order last you?
  • What do you plan to use for bagging if the government bans plastic?
  • We are looking at a solution to these problems, would you be interested?
  • Would you be willing to switch from your plastic bags to a recycled paper alternative?
  • What does a good grocery bag look like, what are its features?
  • Have you explored this idea before?
  • How do you think this option will affect your business?
  • How do you feel about moving away from plastic?
edited on 20th February 2019, 21:02 by Abbey Dyson

Rose Gooding 8 months ago

Status label added: Experiment adopted

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