Bagging it for the Myall Waterways

Julie Sims and Wendy Earnshaw.(left) Boomerang Bag pinned and ready to sew.(right)
Julie Sims and Wendy Earnshaw.(left)
Boomerang Bag pinned and ready to sew.(right)

 

WORLDWIDE, around one million plastic bags are used every minute, contributing roughly 3.5 million tons of waste per year.

Dr David Gillespie MP -Member for Lyne
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These sobering statistics, along with a desire to do something to retain the pristine waterways she has come to know and love, made Brooke Feltis take action and form Boomerang Bags in the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest area.

“The Boomerang Bags initiative was a really practical way to bring about a change in the way we see single use plastics, particularly plastic bags,” Brooke said.

Boomerang Bags started as a community initiative in Burleigh Heads in 2014.

“Now we have over 324 Boomerang Bags communities across Australia, some even in other countries overseas. To date approximately 96,000 Boomerang Bags have been lovingly made which equates to around 28,550kgs of landfill being diverted,” Brooke told News Of The Area.

Plastic bags cause havoc in waterways, with many different species of marine life mistaking plastic for food and ingesting it.

This can lead to internal blockages, starvation and ultimately death for marine species.

As part of the food cycle, the implications are clear for Australians who love their waterways and also their seafood.

Unfortunately, many retail outlets continue to provide plastic bags for consumers.

“I believe that in the retail industry, consumer choice is paramount,” Brooke said.

“Taking away plastic bags would remove a choice from the consumer and the fear would be that they would take their business elsewhere. If all retailers got on board and removed plastic bags, then the consumer would have no option but to bring their own bag, box or basket when shopping.”

The group recently held a successful sewing bee and the “lovingly hand-crafted” bags will be distributed at community-based events.

“One Boomerang Bag can pass through six sets of local hands before it’s finished; someone will collect the fabric, then it is cut to size, ironed, pinned, handles are also cut, ironed and sewn and then we cut and screen print our own pockets and sew the whole thing together,” Brooke said.

The Boomerang Bags Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest Launch is on 15 July from 8am at the Coles Village Market where the bags will be available for purchase.

“We thank local businesses including Hawks Nest Take Away, Hawks Nest Bakery, IGA and Ray White Real Estate for offering financial support.”

 

Liz O’Connor and Caroline Price.
Liz O’Connor and Caroline Price.

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