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How to bag a billboard, or an answer to the L.A. city attorney's prayers

March 27, 2010 |  8:01 am

Supergraphic Since our crusading city attorney Carmen Trutanich is yanking supersize billboards down right and left, one might wonder: What can you do with an old billboard? Plenty, as it turns out.

One enterprising company, Yak Pak, is turning old billboards into one-of-a-kind bags. There are pencil bags, camera bags, totes and messengers, all made of “upcycled” vinyl from old billboards that otherwise would end up in landfills. (Hot stat: The company says that every year in the U.S. more that 3 million billboards are sent to landfills.) To make the bags, Yak Pak partnered with TerraCycle, a business devoted to  being environmentally friendly by making products out of waste.

Yak Pak, celebrating its 20th year in business, calls the billboard bags its "most innovative product line yet."

Yakpak "Yak Pak consumers are a unique, creative group and we have always mirrored their personalities in our bags," says company founder Stephen Holt. "The billboard bag collection is just another way of appreciating their individualistic nature, so with this latest collection, we offer a line where each item is an individual."

Most items in the collection sell for less than $35 and can be found at numerous retailers, including, Urban Outfitters, Tillys and Staples. For a complete list check out Yak Pak's website

And, denizens of Los Angeles, if you're looking for a way to thank Mr. Trutanich for fighting urban blight, a brand new messenger bag might be just the thing.

-- Susan Denley

Photos: A supergraphic on the bustling corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue was removed last month after the city attorney brought charges against a man accused of illegally putting up the ad. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times. Yak Pak billboard messenger bag. Credit: Yak Pak