Bag-A-Lot, a Light Bulb Moment

Necessity is often the mother of invention. And so it was for Trace and Penny Zima of   Antigo, Wisconsin.

What started as a homespun way to stash recyclables has developed into the clever invention of Bag-A-Lot, a portable, multi-purpose flexible bag holder that is lightweight and eliminates the need for bulky containers.

“Sales are going pretty well,” said Penny Zima, who operates Pennyz Party Town.

“It’s one of those things that people understand the need for once they get one and use it.”

The development of Bag-A-Lot dates back 10 years, after a particularly hard time trying to tug a garbage bag filled with aluminum recyclables out of a garbage can. The bag was too heavy to lift, and when it was finally detached from the can it often was torn or only half full.

Bag-A-Lot in construction orange

“I got frustrated,” Zima said.

So her father, Harold Meister, cut the bottom out of a five gallon bucket, per her request, and hung plastic garbage bags from the rim.

That worked, but the payday came when Penny Zima decided to create an embroider-hoop type rim, easy to open and close with two circular snaps and eliminating the need to fish the bag through the bucket.

“It was a light bulb moment,” she said.

“With Bag-A-Lot it is simple. All I do with any size garbage bag, 13 gallon to 55 gallon, is clip the mouth of the bag into the locking ring and that is it.”

The couple originally used Bag-A-Lot for recycling but discovered that when they added a handle, it became great for yard work or roadside cleanup.

“With the included bungee cord which stores in the handle, Bag-A-Lot is great for tossing in your vehicle or camper.” Zima said.

“Using the bungee, you can easily strap it to any post or tree while camping, boating, fishing, and get-togethers on the back deck.”

The product has now expanded from basic black to colors, including tan, neon (safety) green, green, yellow, and neon (construction) orange. It is manufactured by Nicolet Plastics in Mountain, Wisconsin with the bungee cord, containers, and even the website all American-designed and made.

“My husband and I believe strongly in America. With so many items made outside this country, we insisted that Bag-A-Lot be manufactured in America,” Zima said.

“We are hooked on Bag-A-Lot and we believe many other people will benefit from this product.”



A portable and flexible garbage bag holder, Bag-A-Lot can hold large quantities such as cans, bottles, and plain old trash.

Cost: $25; two for $45; three for $60

Address: Pennyz Party Town, 2008 Neva Road, Antigo, WI 54409

Phone: (715) 62-PARTY (627-2789)


Worth Pondering…

Be ready when the opportunity comes…luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.

—Roy D. Chapin, Jr.

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