Bags’ boomerang effect

By Ashleigh Fielding

SEEING a post on Facebook prompted Albany resident Lynne Smith to contribute to a more sustainable shopping experience by forming a fabric shopping bag community group.

However, the group requires more volunteers and donations in order to maintain the environmental initiative.

Ms Smith sought to join Boomerang Bags, a nation-wide volunteer scheme to reduce plastic bags in supermarkets, by replacing them with reusable fabric shopping bags.

The concept behind Boomerang Bags is to provide supermarkets and stores with fabric shopping bags, encourage customers to use them, and later return them to the store, reusing them and creating the “boomerang effect”.

Ms Smith, along with Tamara Drew and Jane Looker, formed Boomerang Bags Albany in July.

The volunteer group hopes to meet more often to cut fabrics and sew bags, in an effort to rid Albany of plastic shopping bags.

Boomerang Bags Albany’s formation has occurred in good time, with the state government’s announcement last month of a complete single-use plastic bag ban as of July 1, 2018.

“I saw something on Facebook about it and thought, I’ll give it a go,” Ms Smith said.

“We have 90 members on our Facebook group and already have shops wanting to be a part of it.”

Local businesses interested in the initiative include AVEG, Oyster Harbour Store, Mad Marteys and local op shops.

Boomerang Bags Albany is currently seeking more volunteers to help sew the bags, and requires more fabrics to make the bags, as well as sponsorship and donations for screen-printing.

“We are in need of any old clean fabric, such as sheets, quilt covers, table cloths and dress-making fabric people no longer need,” Ms Smith said.

“We also need volunteers who can cut out, iron or sew to help complete the bags either at home or at our sewing bees.”

Boomerang Bags Albany will be at the Spring in the Garden Create No Waste Festival on Humphries Street this Saturday, October 7 between 10am and 2pm.

Fabric bag starter kits will be available from the festival.

For donations or queries, contact Ms Smith on 0419 914 396.