Boomerang Bags have been launched in Whitby in an effort to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bags in the town.
The Boomerang Bags initiative was started in Australia five years ago by a group of friends shocked by the plastic floating in the ocean, killing marine life, littering beaches and clogging drains.
The idea has now gone global with more than 860 Boomerang communities across the world making more than 205,603 bags and saving more than 62,000 kg of waste from landfill.
Whitby Boomerang Bags are now available for free at RA Willison fruit and vegetable shop in Wellington Road for customers who have forgotten their own bags and want to help reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.
The bags are hand-made by local sewing groups and individuals using recycled material such as curtains, tablecloths and bedding. Each bag has a re-use label depicting Whitby Abbey designed by Carole Sinclair.
The bags are free and can be kept and reused or boomeranged back to the shop, to a friend or the stranger in the supermarket queue looking for a plastic bag.
Enthusiastic sewers from Creative Stitchers Newholm, Queen Bee Quilters, U3A Patchwork and Quilting Group, Whitby WI, Robin Hood’s Bay Crafters and Dalewood, as well as solo stitchers, made the bags in just a few months. The number is growing, as the ‘Baggers’ are usually members of several stitching groups.
One of the sewers has used the scheme to help her diet.
When tempted, instead of hitting the biscuits she sews a bag! Others have helped by bringing material and thread in to Whitby Library to pass on to the sewers.
Jane Pottas, who founded Whitby Against Single Use Plastics (WASPs), sees the project as a way to help Whitby reduce its plastic footprint, recycle waste material – and have fun.
“It is a great opportunity for Whitby people to take action and make a difference in helping to reduce plastic,” she said.
“Re-use your own bag, or use a Boomerang Bag and encourage others to do the same in a fun way. Join a sewing group taking part in the scheme or just make a bag at home.”
You can also help by handing in unwanted fabric to Whitby Library to keep the sewers going. It is hoped to launch the scheme in other Whitby shops.
For more information and Boomerang Labels, contact Sandra by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01947 602938.
Also, you can visit the Facebook group Wasps Whitby Against Single Use Plastics.