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Byron Shire
April 20, 2024

Cabarita joins recycled shopping-bag push

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Nick Brabham gets behind the sewing machine. Photo supplied
Nick Brabham gets behind the sewing machine. Photo supplied

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.’

Dani Frazer and Boomerang Bag signage for businesses.
Dani Frazer and Boomerang Bag signage for businesses.

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


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  1. More feel good initiatives from the greenies, forget about the inconvenience to shoppers.
    It’s all in pursuit of helping some putative fish that’s imbibed a plastic bag far out to sea.
    If they feel that strongly about it, get shopkeepers to supply thick paper bags or free canvas ones. I’d certainly switch my shopping to a shop that supplies bags, I don’t care what they’re made from, they all end up doing secondary service with nappies, dog poo or garden clippings.

  2. Well done Cabarita and Boomerang Bags for making a real difference in reducing the impact of plastic bags on our environment. Its just laziness and habit that keeps people using them.

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can be so negative. Just because someone is trying to do something good for their community and the environment they are poo pooed. Grow up Jon. There are some issues a bit more important than your so called inconvenience.
    What a great idea to have members of the community to make the bags, use the bags, reduce the use of plastic bag waste and help to keep our oceans a bit cleaner so the ‘putative fish’ not to mention all the other creatures and birds that live in and around our waterways and ocean can be safe and clean.
    Congratulations Mr Brabham, Cabba Progressive and everyone else involved. I hope that Boomerang Bags is a great success. Well done!


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