Sav­ing the world a bag at a time

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEWTSO

A keen seam­stress and grand­mother is at the fore­front of a move­ment which uses nee­dle and thread to keep waste from the tip.

Diana Car­roll is a co-or­di­na­tor for Boomerang Bags Up­per Hutt and wants re­us­able shop­ping bags to be­come the norm.

Boomerang Bags is a move­ment that cre­ates shop­ping bags out of scrap ma­te­rial. The ini­tia­tive started in Burleigh Heads, Aus­tralia, in 2013 and has since spread through­out Aus­trala­sia, the Pa­cific, Europe and North Amer­ica.

Car­roll said the idea to bring the ini­tia­tive to Up­per Hutt came out of her de­sire to do some­thing for the en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘As I’ve got­ten older, I’ve be­come more con­scious of the state of the planet. I used to think one per­son couldn’t make a dif­fer­ence, but now I see if every­one does their bit, it all adds up.’’

She was im­me­di­ately taken by the Boomerang Bags con­cept as it di­verted ma­te­rial from the tip, pro­vided an al­ter­na­tive to sin­gleuse plas­tic bags and fed into her in­ter­est in sewing.

The bags are made from do­nated ma­te­rial and can be sewn to­gether in about half and hour.

Car­roll’s years of sewing ex­pe­ri­ence have been put to good use with changes hav­ing al­ready been made to Boomerang’s orig­i­nal de­sign to make them less waste­ful. The group did away with the plans they were given as they felt too much ma­te­rial was be­ing cut away to fit the tem­plates. The bags were now made ac­cord­ing to the width of the par­tic­u­lar piece of ma­te­rial in use.

‘‘To cut off 10 or 20 mil­lime­tres seems a waste to me.’’

The group plans to have 1000 bags ready to fully launch the project next year. It wants to dis­trib­ute the bags to par­tic­i­pat­ing shops where peo­ple could col­lect them for free and re­turn them if they had fin­ished with them.

The group are plan­ning a ‘‘stitch in’’ event in Novem­ber to re­cruit more vol­un­teers. Peo­ple could come in and make their own bag to take away, help make more bags for the pro­gramme or take pre-cut kits to make bags at home.

Boomerang Bags Up­per Hutt are look­ing for vol­un­teers and do­na­tions of ma­te­ri­als, sewing ma­chines, sewing ma­chine nee­dles and funds. Con­tact Diana Car­roll at­, or reg­is­ter or drop items at Thim­bles and Threads, 84 Main St, Up­per Hutt.


Mike and Troy Marvin from Sil­ver­stream get a tow to the top of the hill dur­ing the Up­per Hutt Ro­tary Trol­ley Derby at the Stu­art Macaskill wa­ter stor­age lakes on Septem­ber 30. More pho­tos, page 15.

Diana Car­roll is turn­ing scrap ma­te­rial into re­us­able shop­ping bags.

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