Whatever Happened To Grease Bags Eco-Friendly Oil Disposal After Shark Tank Season 8?

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

LaTangela Newsome brought her compostable grease disposal bags onto "Shark Tank" in 2017. As a single mother who loves to cook, Newsome was sick of using plastic containers to throw away oil and grease. Not only did this put more plastic into landfills, but the grease itself was also a threat to the environment. Newsome wanted a sustainable option that wouldn't clog up drains, so she took matters into her own hands and created Grease Bags.

Grease Bags contain microorganisms that are also used by government agencies to clean up oil spills. The microorganisms help to absorb the fat and turn it into compostable material. The company's bags are resealable, allowing the customer to pour in grease multiple times without having to worry about unpleasant smells or spills. Once the Grease Bag is full, it can be composted or thrown away and will biodegrade without fear of the oils harming the planet.

What happened to Grease Bags on Shark Tank?

When LaTangela Newsome appeared on "Shark Tank" (Season 8, Episode 13) to pitch her product, she had yet to sell a single unit. Though she had no sales, Newsome had recently found a manufacturer to make the bags, and planned to sell packs of three for $12.99. Despite the high price of the bags, each set of three would only cost the company $2.34. Newsome showed the Sharks a sample of the prototype, displaying how the padding inside absorbed grease that had cooled. Still, she hoped a shark would invest $75,000 for 25% equity in her company.

Several of the Sharks found issues with the product, including that it was not capable of handling hot grease. Though Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O'Leary, and Robert Herjavec were out on the invention, Barbara Corcoran offered Newsome $75K for 50% equity as long as the founder lowered the price of the bags by half. The Grease Bags inventor took the deal, despite that it would sacrifice half of her ownership.

Grease Bags after Shark Tank

Though LaTangela Newsome agreed to a deal with Barbara Corcoran, the two hit a snag in negotiations after filming the "Shark Tank" episode. The Grease Bags founder had agreed to lower the price of the company's product on the show, but struggled to find the funds to do so when it came to manufacturing. Newsome's deal with Corcoran never closed, and the founder paid for materials herself in an effort to prepare for the influx of orders once the episode was aired.

Once viewers saw the episode in January of 2017 and pre-orders started rolling in on Shopify, Grease Bags couldn't keep up with the demand. After months of waiting, customers began to complain on the company's Facebook page and some wanted refunds. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Newsome explained that customers didn't understand the company's lack of funding. "With the exposure, you have people who expect something different. They think Barbara's on deck, and are expecting no problems," Newsome said. In December of 2017, the company posted on its Facebook page, apologizing for the delays and promising that the orders would ship within a week. According to the Cosmopolitan article published in February of 2018, the pre-orders eventually were delivered.

Is Grease Bags still in business?

Despite the initial trouble Grease Bags experienced with sending out its first orders, the company's product is currently available on Amazon and Shopify. However, though the products are listed as in stock, there have been no new Amazon reviews since 2021. Further, the price has gone up since 2017, with the company now selling one bag for $13.99. Many of the most recent reviews on the Amazon page are unhappy with the product and claim the bags split open even when only cooled grease is poured inside.

The company stopped posting on its Facebook page in August of 2022, shortly after announcing that newer bags (above right) would decompose faster than the original product and promising that more details were to come. Grease Bags' Instagram page, meanwhile, continues to post occasionally, and LaTangela Newsome has also posted promotional videos for her invention on her personal TikTok account as recently as last month. It seems the company is still in operation despite numerous customer complaints.

What's next for Grease Bags and its founder?

Though the company made an announcement in 2022 about upcoming newer and better Grease Bags, it's unclear if there's been any change (other than perhaps packaging) to the bags or if the company plans to release any new products. The same day as its product announcement, Grease Bags did change its Facebook profile picture to the bags' possible new look, notably featuring a droplet instead of a circle on the front. However, when one user asked, "Are you guys still in business?" there was no reply.

As for Grease Bags' founder LaTangela Newsome, six years after pitching her invention on "Shark Tank," Newsome seems to still be actively involved in selling her sustainable grease disposal product; she's currently listed as the company's owner on her LinkedIn page. Besides running her business, however, Newsome is also an actor, who played Maritza Hogg on Nickelodeon's early 2000s sitcom "Taina." She still seems to be acting as well, appearing in a TV movie called "Girl in the Closet" in 2023.