Boomerang Bags, a community initiative new to Rotorua, focuses on the production of hand-made, free re-usable bags, which are then distributed into the community as a sustainable alternative for people to use instead of plastic bags. These bags are designed to reduce environmental harm, by reducing waste from single-use plastic bags, as our ‘throw-away’ mentality means that large amounts of plastic waste fill and clog our landfills, waterways and our oceans. The timing of this initiative could not be better with us no longer being able to recycle our plastic bags locally.
This initiative comes about through 18 year old Chantelle Cobby’s involvement in Youth Parliament – a nationwide event whereby each Minister of Parliament selected a young person to be their Youth MP. Participating in an Environmental Select Committee, Chantelle investigated how much is currently being done and how much should be done to reduce plastic waste in the environment – sparking a passion to do more to help, resulting in her involvement with Boomerang Bags, an initiative originally from Australia.
The actual making of the bags occurs through community sewing bees – rallying together volunteers representing all demographics of the community to create positive environmental action by hand-sewing the bags. This provides an opportunity to increase awareness of the issue, allowing for connection, socialisation and up-skilling.
The project further engages the community as all materials to produce the bags are donated and relies on the goodwill of the community to achieve this. If you have any donations of material or thread these can be dropped off at the Mokoia Community Association.
If you’re interested in getting involved to help save our environment, register your interest in the first Sewing Bee by contacting Chantelle on 0279199609 or searching ‘Rotorua Community Sewing Bee’ on Facebook.
The first bee will be held at the Mokoia Community Centre on Saturday 15th October from 10am-1pm.