Supermarket’s backing in the bag

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United front: Ritchies IGA manager Matt Skiller with members of the Balnarring Boomerang Bags group. Picture: Yanni

BALNARRING Boomerang Bags is the first group to have its own stall in a supermarket.

Ritchies’ IGA manager Matt Skiller has given the group space as the 30 June deadline for the statewide banning of single use plastic bags in supermarkets approaches.

“The cloth bags are going really well with everyone right behind the group’s work,” Mr Skiller said.

“Customers are dropping off cloth for them to use in making the bags which can be bought for a dollar coin donation. Money earned goes back to the group to buy more cloth or sewing machine equipment.”

The Balnarring Boomerang Bags group is aiming to educate people about a sustainable alternative to plastic bags. They meet in the Balnarring Primary School art room, 1.30pm on Mondays to collect supplies and create kits. Sewers and non-sewers wanting to join them are welcome.

“Fabric is sourced from St Marks Op Shop or donated by ex-sewers, Hastings Upholstery and Warwick Fabrics,” organiser Cheryl McDonald said. “All this fabric is saved from landfill. We have made more than 1500 bags since starting in October 2017.”

Donations are also used to help cover the group’s costs of printing, buying display stands, purchasing labels and screen printing materials.

Ms McDonald said the group aimed to educate people about plastic pollution, reduce fabric going to landfill, eliminate the need for plastic bags and create a community of like-minded people “who can make a real difference”.

“There are now at least 10 Boomerang Bag communities across the peninsula pumping out thousands of reusable bags made from fabric diverted from landfill,” Ms McDonald said. “It’s pretty amazing stuff.”

Details: boomerangbags.org

First published in the Western Port News – 5 June 2018

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