Plastic bag waste is no doubt a serious global issue, and the new bag waste reduction law passing that took effect in New York on 1st March 2020 was a step in the right direction. It encouraged us to always have a reusable bag on hand, otherwise we’d have to pay per plastic bag.

But what if we forgot to bring them or just did not have any? The intention was there, but it was difficult to make it an intrinsic habit to store and bring reusable bags.

To solve this problem, we came up with BagX to create a peer-to-peer economy for reusable shopping bags within school campus. Through a synchronized mobile application and kiosk system, students can easily borrow a reusable bag when the need arises. Situating it within a school like NYU, not only makes pickup/dropoff very convenient, but also encourages everyone in the community to get involved.

What it does

Our mobile application facilitates and tracks the borrowing, returning and donating of reusable shopping bags among the NYU student community. The map function makes it convenient to locate the nearest kiosk and check how many bags are available.The profile and tracking allows users to see their progress and understand the impact they are making. Finally, the social feed creates a community that encourages everyone to build sustainable habits together.

How we built it

We set up the developer environment using Github and ReactNative to build the mobile application. We coded using JavaScript. We used Firebase to build a database and for authentication. For mapping and routing, we pulled from MapBox API.

Challenges we ran into

When we started this project, we were unfamiliar with JavaScript and coding on ReactNative for a mobile application. However, with some research into online documentation and help from peers, we were able to figure out how to implement our project effectively.

Another challenge was setting up the QR code scanner in the app. We found that the 3rd party library was not configured properly and we had to dig into the code, study it and tweak it to run on our app properly

What we learnt

  • How to use JavaScript and coding on ReactNative with little/no prior experience
  • How to learn from documentation quickly and implement new or 3rd party code.
  • Building with Mapbox

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Creating a mobile app from scratch and getting it to work smoothly through different user flows
  • Having a logical back-end system that updates instantly and accurately

What's next for BagX

We intend to add more features to our mobile app such as user milestones, google maps redirect, adding friends feature to make the app more user-friendly. To understand the feasibility of setting up these kiosk around NYU, we hope to speak to relevant staff about our idea and start off with 2 kiosks.

About Us

We are junior students from the National University of Singapore who are interested in startups and entrepreneurship!

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