Saving the world a bag at a time
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 email@example.com, 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.