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.’
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 .