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Boomerang bond made to break bag habits

At the launch at Tweed Valley Way IGA, Murwillumbah, are Nola Firth, Cal Atkins, Mark Pettit, Andie Cally and Jeremy Melder.
At the launch at Tweed Valley Way IGA, Murwillumbah, are Nola Firth, Cal Atkins, Mark Pettit, Andie Cally and Jeremy Melder. Scott Powick

A TWEED not-for-profit group has launched a local Boomerang Bags chapter to inspire reduced use of plastic bags.

Coinciding with Plastic Free July, Let's Waste Less made the launch at Tweed Valley IGA last Wednesday.

Boomerang Bags is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing plastic bag use by engaging communities to come together and sew Boomerang Bags using recycled materials.

Let's Waste Less co-founder Andia Cally said the group's aim was to encourage a public shift from a single use, throwaway mentality, towards a more sustainable re-purpose and re-use approach.

"By making these bags, which are made by the community in the community, it's a creative way to raise awareness about the sustainable alternatives to plastic," Ms Cally said.

"We know that there's about eight million tonnes of plastic that goes into the ocean every year and it's getting worse. By 2050, the amount of plastic is going to outnumber the amount of fish in the ocean.

"We've got to do something about it, so this is our way of making a difference, it's a great way of coming together with the community."

Leading up to the launch, Let's Waste Less has engaged Sathya Sai Primary School, which has held two sewing bees, producing around 100 Boomerang Bags in the process.

Sathya Sai also successfully pitched to get local businesses to host soft plastic bins in July, and placed collective pressure on Coles that was instrumental in Murwillumbah Coles becoming an official RedCycle outlet.

Sathya Sai principle Cal Atkins said students had embraced the Boomerang Bags project, which was crucial for their knowledge of their environmental footprint.

"The children have been helping, parents have helped with sewing, and our senior students have been really involved," Ms Atkins said.

"We see it as a selfless service. A way of giving back to community while raising awareness of the use of plastics and teaching our kids to be environmentally aware."

The group will host its third sewing bee at Sathya Sai from 10-4pm on Saturday, July 22 and hopes the community will get involved with the initiative.

"You don't need to know how to sew, it's about experiences and it's about doing different things," Let's Waste Less co-founder Jeremy Melder said.

"If you can't sew, you can cut material, or learn to screenprint. Kids can get involved, too, and have a great time."

The group will dedicate 50 Boomerang Bags for borrowing, lending and returning to the IGA, with two other outlets set to follow in future.

Topics:  boomerang bags environmental awareness let's waste less plastics reducing plastic sathya sai sewing bee


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