Volunteer Sewers Use Recycled Fabric to Create New Ways to Fight Plastic Bag Waste
Image: Sarah Beadle, David Janetzki MP and Christie Rheeder with the Boomerang Bags which are being used to reduce plastic bag waste
Boomerang Bags Toowoomba founder Sarah Beadle said their group of people from all walks of life came together monthly to make bags out of material saved from landfill.
“We are tackling a major area of plastic pollution at its source while also creating a network for women to come together, support each other, their communities and the environment,” Mrs Beadle said.
Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP is currently helping the group look for a new meeting space since their previous space they had used since 2017 was no longer available.
“Boomerang Bags is a wonderful community group. These women are not just making bags but diverting waste, starting conversations, connecting with each other and fostering sustainable behaviour,” Mr Janetzki said.
Mrs Beadle said they had experienced a surge in requests for bags from local retailers and small businesses since the single use plastic bag ban.
“We would love to meet the demand for our products but our current ad-hoc meeting arrangements has sadly limited our ability to,” Mrs Beadle said.
“We have the materials – literally boxes of reclaimed quilt covers, curtains, fabric offcuts that we want to see repurposed and on the shoulders of every person in Toowoomba,” she said.
The bags are available for purchase for a gold coin donation to cover the cost of the thread which has to be bought new.
The group has made about 400 boomerang bags in the past two years.
Mrs Beadle said their monthly three-hour sewing bees was a highlight for her as a busy, working Mum.
“It is my regular outlet to do something productive, socialise and help the environment,” she said.
“There is always a lovely, cheery vibe at the sewing bees and it makes my heart sing being there.”
Boomerang Bags is a global, grassroots movement which began in Burleigh Heads.
There are now 952 Boomerang Bags groups which have collectively made 214,462 recycled fabric bags and saved 75,062kgs of waste from landfill.
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