REUSE, RECYCLE: Boomerang Bag Maryborough co-ordinator Sharyn Honey is looking for volunteers like Jessica Byrne, Caroline Christopher and Elvie Relton to help up-cycle material into shopping bags.
REUSE, RECYCLE: Boomerang Bag Maryborough co-ordinator Sharyn Honey is looking for volunteers like Jessica Byrne, Caroline Christopher and Elvie Relton to help up-cycle material into shopping bags. Alistair Brightman

Saving the world one bag at a time

YOU don't need to be able to sew, you don't even have to attend a workshop but you can help Sharyn Honey make Maryborough a little more plastic-free.

Ms Honey was looking for volunteers who would like to donate their time to make a few Boomerang Bags.

Boomerang Bags in Maryborough began last year in September when Creative Co-Op founder Kel Mott advertised for volunteers to tackle the plastic overuse that makes its way into the environment.

"Kel Mott was instrumental in starting the group through the Creative Co-Op and I have since taken it over," Ms Honey said.

Boomerang Bags exists to connect people and empower them to create change, through something as simple as creating recycled fabric bags together, to lessen the use of plastic.

Not only does the recycled bag reduce plastic bag usage, it also eliminates old materials and clothing ending up in landfill.

 

Boomerang Bag Sewing Bee - Sharyn Honey and the ladies working on another bag.
Boomerang Bag Sewing Bee - Sharyn Honey and the ladies working on another bag. Alistair Brightman

The Maryborough High School art teacher said she had no volunteers.

"For the last whole term I have had one or two people turn up when I have held the workshops," she said.

"I have had times where no one has turned up but I have used that time to cut up bags and things like that.

"I would stay at the hall the whole day if I knew a couple of people were turning up in the morning and a couple of people in the afternoon."

She said she had difficulty understanding why she struggled to get volunteers.

"I understand people are really busy but we all are," Ms Honey said.

"I am quite happy for people to find out what to do, find out how to make them, pick up some supplies from me and make them at home.

"Then they just have to drop them back to me so I can number them and distribute them.

"If they can find the time to make just a couple of bags throughout the week - just those couple, if you have 10 people making a couple of bags a week - it soon adds up, which makes a big difference."

 

Boomerang Bags Maryborough member and Maryborough State High School art teacher Sharyn Honey has recruited a dedicated team of high school students (from back left clockwise) Loganne Forbes, Jordyn Kelly, Channing Hancock, Maddison-Rose Ryan and Hayley Bryson to help make reuseable fabric bags from materials that would normally end up in landfill.
Boomerang Bags Maryborough member and Maryborough State High School art teacher Sharyn Honey has recruited a dedicated team of high school students (from back left clockwise) Loganne Forbes, Jordyn Kelly, Channing Hancock, Maddison-Rose Ryan and Hayley Bryson to help make reuseable fabric bags from materials that would normally end up in landfill. Boni Holmes

Ms Honey said she still had her students at Maryborough State High School.

"We still meet twice a week," she said.

"I also have my regular students who are really keen and I have taught them to screen print the labels, which are made into pockets - that has been very good.

"It has been a boost for the students as Year 7 and 8 don't learn those skills at school until later levels but they have embraced it, learning ahead of their time.

"They have been instrumental in helping and are aware that the bags are going out to be sold in the community.

"They are also very keen to learn as much as possible about sustainability and this is a great platform."

She also mentioned it was important to involve that younger generation.

"We need to target the younger generation - they are the ones coming on board embracing the no- plastic concept," she said.

"There are a lot of people still not willing to make the change. It is not just plastic bags though. Businesses need to stop over-packaging with plastic.

"After the Easter holidays Maryborough High did away with plastic straws and they have paper ones now - they are a bit more expensive but they have obviously thought about the environment.

"And not all plastics can be recycled - we really need to rethink what we are doing everywhere.

"The students at school need to be taught to be more thoughtful and creative and innovative and think outside of the box."

 

Some of the vege bags made with curtains created by the members of Boomerang Bags Maryborough to use instead of single use plastic bags.
Some of the vege bags made with curtains created by the members of Boomerang Bags Maryborough to use instead of single use plastic bags. contributed

Ms Honey said she wasn't giving up even if she was the only person making them.

"I don't know what the answer is and I know I can't make people change their ways, I can only do what I can do," she said.

"I know that every bag that goes out to somebody makes a difference because that is at least one plastic bag that hasn't gone home and if they use that bag 10 times then that's 10 plastic bags.

"I can't make all the bags for Maryborough - not that I am not trying because I am really determined not to give up."

Boomerang Bags can be bought from Lifeline on Adelaide St and the Earth Wrapping stall at the Maryborough Markets.

For more information visit Facebook.

DETAILS

Boomerang Bag sewing workshops are held at Leslie G Ross Church Hall, corner of Russell and Bashford Sts (parking at rear, off Bashford), every second Saturday

You need only bring your machine, all other materials are supplied

If you have no sewing machine there are other jobs you can do to help out, such as cutting, sorting, pinning

You can donate linen, such as bed sheets, tablecloths, pillow slips, quilt covers, lace curtains (or any curtains), place mats, men's shirts, men's ties, and t-shirts are also needed for our no-sew bags

You can bring your donations to the hall on sewing workshop days or deliver to Maryborough State High School during the school term.