Wangaratta Boomerang Bags - Taking matters into their own hands

20 Jul 2017 Wangaratta Boomerang Bags - Taking matters into their own hands

Since ABC's War on Waste graced our screens, people are becoming conscious of the mind blowing volume of useless waste we create. This is not just a horror all by itself, it spawns further horrors. Think of those tragic videos on social media of whales dying on beaches from ingesting plastic. Or the new documentary Bag It, which I reckon is bound to have you plotting a lifestyle shift towards a plastic free Xanadu. 

Note - Since I wrote this post some major supermarkets in Australia have announced the phasing out of single use plastic bags, a step in the right direction!

I recently attended a screening of Bag It organised by Boomerang Bags in conjunction with Anthony Hill from Plastic Pollution Solutions. The documentary tracks Jeb Berrier, a regular American joe, as he follows through on his pledge to stop using plastic bags. To be honest, the film is confronting. There were many moments when I felt like crying. I'm sure most people feel the same when they see the damaging effects of plastic. 



So how do we avoid being overwhelmed by this problem? 


Anthony Hill - Plastic Pollution Solutions: traveling OZ in his blue campervan, Bev educating school kids, councils and community groups about plastic in our environment. 



And in Wangaratta, one resourceful woman who grew fed up with plastic bags and their problems has ignited local action.


By signing up to become a Boomerang Bags Coordinator, in just three months Sharon Campbell has rallied like-minded neighbours and set a beautiful example of how small simple actions can contribute to avoiding the plastic Armageddon. 


“Boomerang Bags is a grassroots, community-driven movement tackling plastic pollution at its source. Volunteers from all walks of life get together to make re-useable ‘boomerang bags’ using recycled materials, as a means to provide a sustainable alternative to plastic bags”



The concept originated in Burleigh Heads on Australia’s east coast. Co-founders Tania Potts and Jordyn de Boer began the organisation in 2013 with the intention of reducing plastic bag use in their community. They have rapidly eclipsed this humble dream, and now have Boomerang Bags Communities seeded throughout the country. 

The impact of Boomerang bags is two-pronged. It creates community cohesion and it makes the ethical easy. Helping others create a daily habit of using reusable bags when they shop while and bringing a community of people together. Just how good can it get!

The films, television shows, and the change makers like Sharon, are making me question what I throw away. Let me tell you,  getting to the end of the week and realising I don't have enough rubbish to make it worthwhile putting  my bin out is a beautifully positive feeling. (Actually, thinking and writing for this post has been quite cathartic!)


Sharon Campbell and the Team at the Wangaratta Farmer’s Market 




With the guidance of Sharon Campbell, the Boomerang Bags Community in Wangaratta has now made over 1500 Boomerang Bags. And they're distributed in cafés and retailers throughout town, making single-use plastic bags redundant.


The bags create a platform to start conversations, make friends, up-cycle materials and work towards shifting society’s throw away mentality to a more sustainable revolution of re-use  – one community, needle and thread at a time! 


The solution is in our hands, in our community. We can work together to change our patch, and show business and government how we want things to be. Together, we are making ethical easy. 



Interested in starting a Boomerang Bag Community in your town?

Check out their website for more information.  Or search for a Boomerang Bag Community near you!


Katrina Ginnivan - Foraging Relationships



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