Make your own shopping bag ahead of the Queensland plastic bag ban

MAKE YOUR OWN BAG: Members of the Plastic Free SMBI group are holding an event on Russell Island on March 24. Photo: Supplied
MAKE YOUR OWN BAG: Members of the Plastic Free SMBI group are holding an event on Russell Island on March 24. Photo: Supplied

THERE will be no shortage of bags for Southern Moreton Bay Island shoppers when the plastic bag ban comes into effect on July 1.

Thanks to an initiative by the Plastic Free SMBI group cloth shopping bags have been made at sewing bees and distributed at market stalls.

The group is continuing their efforts with an event on Russell Island on Saturday, March 24.

There will be print-making and sewing workshops for people to make cotton shopping bags.

Gareth Hamilton-Foster. Photo: Supplied

Gareth Hamilton-Foster. Photo: Supplied

Group co-ordinator Jeremy Staples said group members had sewn and sold the shopping bags at markets.

“We have also made hundreds of ‘boomerang bags’ for shoppers who forget to take their own,” he said. 

“Boomerang bags will be available to borrow from, and take back to, island supermarkets taking part in the free program.”

The boomerang bags movement, started on the Gold Coast, makes it easier for shoppers to avoid plastic shopping bags. Boomerang bags can be borrowed for free from participating supermarkets so that shoppers can avoid using plastic bags.

Mr Staples said he started the group because he saw the detrimental impacts of single-use plastics, particularly plastic bags.

“Plastic bags end up looking like jellyfish in the ocean. Turtles consume so many they can't swim down below the surface and they starve.

Mr Staples said the plastic bag ban would make the issue worse because heavier duty plastic bags would be introduced.

“The Plastic Free SMBI group are working towards abolishing all single use plastics on the islands. We are situated within the Moreton Bay Marine Park after all,” he said.

At the Plastic Free SMBI event Lamb Island resident Jettie Bourkhart will be available to talk about the boomerang bags initiative and tiny house builder Gareth Hamilton-Foster will share tips on how to reduce the amount of single-use plastic.

“Lots of easy changes can be made that would have a positive collective impact if more and more people stared adapting their lifestyles,” Mr Hamilton-Foster said.

Members of the Plastic Free SMBI group. Photo: Supplied

Members of the Plastic Free SMBI group. Photo: Supplied

“We really need to be thinking of alternatives and ways we can move away from using plastic.”

The group holds sewing bees at Auntie Alice’s Cafe every second fortnight for volunteers to cut, sew, press and print labels on bags.

The session on Saturday, March 24 runs from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Auntie Alice’s Cafe.

For information, phone Jeremy Staples on 0404 805 269.