Change makes cents for Boomerang Bags volunteers

A REDLANDS sewing group wants people to use fabric bags for grocery runs as shoppers across Queensland struggle to adjust to the single-use plastic bag ban.

Boomerang Bags Redland City community leader Sharr Ellson said bags made from fabric were a great alternative, which could be washed and used to carry any items.

The group formed last year before the Palaszczuk government introduced its state-wide ban on single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags, which came into effect on July 1.

Retailers like Coles and Woolworths stopped supplying the single-use bags but made thicker plastic bags available for customers to purchase.

Coles later scrapped the cost to customers after consumer backlash but this month backflipped over its decision, as it had angered environmental groups.

Coles customers will be charged 15 cents each for re-usable plastic bags after August 29. 

Ms Ellson said Boomerang Bag volunteers have made almost 1400 fabric totes in the past year to help shoppers make the switch.

The group celebrated its first birthday on Sunday, August 5 at the old Scout Den site, which was used by volunteers before it was burnt down in March.

Ms Ellson said about 600 smaller lace bags had also been made.

The lace bags could be used as an alternative to plastic barrier bags when buying fruit and vegetables, Ms Ellson said.

She said lace did not register much on scales or increase the cost of produce purchases because it was light.

“Lace is a light fabric and we’ve made 600 in addition to,” she said.

Boomerang Bags can be picked-up for free at Cleveland grocers Wray Organic.

They are also available from IndigiScapes for a gold coin donation and are sold by Boomerang Bags volunteers at pop-up stores.

Ms Ellson said more volunteers were needed to help cut fabrics, iron, sew and screen print materials.

The craft group meets every second Thursday and one Saturday each month between 9.30am and 1.30pm at the Cleveland Uniting Church.

The next sessions are on August, Saturday 11 and Thursday, August 16.

For more information or to join, visit the group’s Facebook page Boomerang Bags Redland City.