Saving the planet is in the bag

Naomi Amber has planet saving in the bag with the inaugural Lismore "sew-in" crew. Photo Jenni Law.

Naomi Amber (centre with her creation) has planet saving in the bag with the inaugural Lismore “sew-in” crew. Photo Jenni Law.

Most of us would have seen the devastation that single-use plastic bags wreaks upon marine life, as social media is being swamped daily with images of turtles and other marine creatures suffering from human laziness – because that’s all it is.

It has been reported that Australian consumers use about 3.92 billion plastic bags per year, and recently Lismore City council passed a motion to encourage local retailers to stop using single-use plastic bags and work towards a ban in the local government area.

Councillor Vanessa Eakins who was behind the motion feels that this everyday item is causing huge environmental issues. ‘Single use plastic bags are a major litter problem in our parks and waterways,’ she says. ‘This can result in the deaths of many turtles, cetaceans, birds and other animal species.’

This little baggy went to market and brought three litre milk bottle, two litres of ice-cream and 1.5 kilos of apples all the way home. Photo Jenni Law.

This little baggy went to market and brought a three litre milk bottle, two litres of ice-cream and 1.5 kilos of apples all the way home. Photo Jenni Law.

A national, and now local movement has begun to turn back the tide.

Boomerang Bags kicked off in 2013 when Tania Potts and Jordyn de Boer manifested the dream of reducing plastic bags within their community of Burleigh Heads. Dozens of amazing supporters and hundreds of dedicated volunteers later, Boomerang Bags is now spreading into communities Australia-wide.

Boomerang Bags works to reduce the use of plastic bags by engaging local communities in the making of Boomerang Bags – community made using recycled materials, Boomerang Bags provide a free, fun, sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

A local group headed by Naomi Amber has recently begun sewing bags in Lismore, and councillor Eakins is putting her sewing where her mouth is as a member of the team.

Last Saturday, the group had its first sewing bee, with 16 people busy cutting, sewing and snipping. ‘There was a flow of productivity, with great enthusiasm and fun had by all’, said Naomi. ‘Group member Jenni Law took a boomerang bag to the supermarket that afternoon and carried a three litre milk bottle, two litres of ice-cream and 1.5 kilos of apples home. The bag didn’t bat an eye.’

The Lismore group plan to have more sew-ins and welcome donations of fabric, thread, sewing equipment and people wanting to be involved. ‘No sewing skills required’, says Naomi. ‘We can provide all the training you need.’
To find out more about Boomerang Bags, visit their website and to talk to the local group, visit their Facebook Page .

4 responses to “Saving the planet is in the bag”

  1. Peter Eicas says:

    If I was in Australia I would be there learning how to sow…….

    You guys have no Idea. If Australia uses billions of single use plastic bags a year Cambodia probably does that in a day. Plus styrofoam food plates, plastic bottles and cups, cans and assorted other types of trash.
    Oh my god, you cannot imagine just how badly these ignorant, emotionally immature, irresponsible people are trashing their environment. Of course there is a lack of infrastructure but the prime reason is indifference and cultural blindness. It is so so sad, I have never seen this level of environmental destruction.

    I travelled Australia in a Motorhome for 2 years and saw trash everywhere but nothing on this scale. I think our lack of population and vast space were probably the main reasons….
    Come on Australians, do the right thing before you spoil the most beautiful country you are so fortunate to inhabit.

  2. Len Heggarty says:

    You can’t save the planet. The planet is unsaveable. We have increased the population of Australians to 24 million in less than 230 years. The Aborigines have lived here for 8000 years and we whites would have to live like the Aborigine in outback Australia and to reduce the population by about 20 million to save the planet. The resourses are depleting themselves. We can’t even keep the electricty switched on up to the present population.
    The Aborigine invented the dillybag.

  3. Jon says:

    Sheer nonsense, clickbait for the greenies. The plastic bag has been the greatest boon for tired shoppers; sporting mums and dads who have to carry dirty wet togs home, dog walkers who pick up their dogs’ crap, mechanics for storing their greasy rags and a host of other uses. The fact that some people don’t do the right thing is no reason for banning the entire plastic bag industry.

  4. Ron Barnes says:

    Peter when I went around Australia and walked over most of western Australia northern territory and south Australia doing a geological survey the place was spotless with the exception of abandoned cars that appeared to be lived in from time to time by the indigenous With only one exception Whitternoon was a total mess from Asbestos mining and old Mining equipment since disappeared to the scrap metal merchants. recently it has changed a lot with filthy caravaners empting their sewerage onto sides of roads and overnight stays its the same with their household rubbish that attracts the dingoes for a feed To me this is now the biggest eyesore of a human made mess a simple shovel in an off road location to empty sullage into or use the available septic empty stations.With garbage we used to burn the paper and other rubbish take home glass and tins and plastics to a place where bins were provided.

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