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A Convenient Choice to Make A Difference

By Claire Greenhalgh, Sustainable Activity Centre

Think about this number for a minute – 156.8 billion.  In this country, we have used and disposed of 156.8 billion plastic bags since 1977.  (That’s close to 429,000 every hour).  Amazing isn’t it? But the most amazing thing is how they are created and how long they last.  These 156.8 billion bags are made from non-renewable resources such as crude oil, gas and coal…just 8.7 of them contain enough embodied petroleum energy to drive a car 1 kilometre.  Each one is used for an average of 10 minutes and then takes 20 years to start photodegrading (broken down by sunlight) until they become microscopic particles – those tiny particles remains, in our environment forever!

Can you imagine Australians using hundreds of billions of anything for just 10 minutes to then throwing them ‘away’ into a big hole for future generations to deal with? No, it’s ludicrous. Not to mention the millions that don’t end in the landfill but litter our streets, choke our drains and kill our wildlife.

So, in the time you finish reading this article another 35,750 plastic bags have been used in Australia to transport stuff for a few minutes and then remain as a token of our immediate convenience, forever.  Plastic bags are a shortsighted and selfish habit that Australians have developed a habitual dependency upon.  How can this madness stop?

One group of enthusiastic environmentalists have created an easy solution – Boomerang Bags.  Making hundreds upon thousands of fabric bags from donated, recycled material, to supply to retailers, for free.  These bags are placed at the front of a retail shop to be used to replace plastic bags by its customers.

Albury Wodonga Boomerang Bags has already started sewing bees and meetings with orders coming in thick and fast from retailers and customers.  Every time a convenient fabric Boomerang Bag is chosen, rather than a plastic bag, it has the potential to save hundreds of plastic bags entering our local environment here in Albury Wodonga.  Collect a few Boomerang Bags over a couple of shops then just return them to the store when you remember.  It’s that easy.

If you want to become involved in helping make these bags, or you are a retailer that wants to look after our local environment, please contact Claire Greenhalgh on 0406943436 or claire@sustainableactivitycentre.com.au for more information.