Cabarita Beach Bowls and Sports Club general manager Nick Brabham isn’t usually in the habit of sending out SOS calls, but as part of the fledgling local business chamber Caba Progressive, he’s keen for local sewing enthusiasts to come help Sew Our Shopping bags.
The initiative is part of the Boomerang Bags program, which was spearheaded recently across the border at Burleigh Heads with great success.
Boomerang Bags is a not-for-profit organisation, providing free-to-borrow, re-useable bags made from recycled materials to local communities. Re-useable Boomerang Bags are made available to customers on a ‘borrow and bring back’ basis as a sustainable alternative to plastic bags.
Cabarita Beach will be the first town to be involved in NSW.
Mr Brabham said Caba Progressive and many local businesses had been keen to get involved with the program.
‘But first we need to sew the bags – we’re well into the thousand or so shopping bags that we’ll need when we launch in coming months, but we just need a bit of help increasing our inventory,’ he said.
‘Sewing enthusiasts, community groups, local businesses, even sewing machines are being sought – I’ve even hopped behind the sewing machine myself.’
Only three per cent of plastic bags in Australia are recycled. Ros Buckpitt who is helping co-ordinate the local Boomerang Bags program says people are increasingly aware of the damage done by plastic bags.
‘Around the world laws are being passed to go plastic-free,’ Ms Buckpitt said.
‘In Europe, in California, even Darwin, Adelaide and Canberra are on board, and the idea has really taken-off,’ she said.
Caba Progressive president Dani Frazer is encouraging local businesses to get involved with the initiative.
‘There are lots of economic benefits from making local businesses more sustainable’, Ms Frazer said.
‘This is one such innovation, and it’s a great way of helping connect community and business for the benefit of the environment,’ she said.
For more information go to the Boomerang Bags website at: www.boomerangbags.org
Volunteer sewers are encouraged to contact Ros Buckpitt on 0418 651314. Businesses can call Dani Frazer on 0412 55 7088. – Stephen Senise