May 26, 2017

Giving Back by Bagging Up


An innovative way of changing garbage bags has brought Bunker Lab’s mission to help veterans full circle. Jack Licata’s multi-patented product, BagUps, aims to make garbage duty less of a hassle while giving back to the veteran community. With the help of the 14-week program exclusively for veterans, Jack Licata and other prospective entrepreneurs were able to embark on their business ventures.

The company recently found its first Brooklyn customer: the Brooklyn Cyclones, who will use BagUps at their stadium, MCU Park. The Cyclones are excited to go green and support veterans and people with disabilities.

Licata’s motivation for creating BagUps came while he worked as a nuclear missile launch officer in the Air Force. He recalls one of this least favorite tasks of office duty was emptying the garbage can at the end of the day. “I hated it.”

Eliminating the extra work of searching for a garbage bag by developing a dispensing system comparable to that of a tissue box would make changing the bag easier for people on garbage duty, creating a more efficient system in both commercial and residential environments. This system has totally revolutionized the manner in which garbage bags are installed, disposed and decomposed. Once installed, BagUps take three seconds to change, significantly cutting the time spent changing bags and saving almost two man-hours per employee per day. These hours amount to businesses saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

BagUps are, by design, biodegradable, as they break down within two months as opposed to their non-ecofriendly plastic counterparts, which take thousands of years to disintegrate. Licata’s bags are made of an additive “that unwinds the molecular bond between hydrogen and carbon molecules,” creating an effect similar to that of rust on steel.

As if the concept of producing an environmentally conscious product weren’t enough, Licata also prides himself on having a product made 100 percent in the U.S. by veterans and people with disabilities. For every 1,000 BagUps produced, a job is created for one person a week.

BagUps have been shown on shopping channels and local and national vews over 14 times and are being distributed through U.S. Foods, one of the largest distributors in the country. Licata seeks to expand his company as he looks to gain commercial business accounts, government agencies and distributors. His hope is that larger distributors will grant him the opportunity to provide hundreds of jobs for veterans and people who are disabled. For his residential line, Licata is launching a disruptive online membership model that will deliver BagUps refills to customers’ mailboxes. In this subscription-based model, residual refills are automatically shipped to homes, lowering manufacturing costs, customer costs and carbon footprint.

It’s probably worth mentioning that Licata has now turned over his household garbage duties to his 15 year old son. Visit for more information.

Back to Membership Spotlight