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Boomerang Bags are playing their part to reduce the amount of plastic bags going to landfill each year by engaging local communities to use recycled materials to make a free, fun and sustainable alternative.

Originating on the Gold Coast back in 2014, the community organisation has grown to now have 1040 groups in over 25 countries, including a local branch in Camden Haven who was a successful recipient of the ETC Community Support Fund.

Boomerang Bags Camden Haven Coordinator Peter Nash said he was thrilled to receive the $4650 grant which enabled their group to purchase new equipment.

“With the funding we got from ETC, we were able to upgrade our machines. We purchased brand new overlockers, sewing machines, a gazebo to use at markets along with tables, pins, thread, scissors etc to help keep us running,” Mr Nash said.

In addition to having a positive impact on the environment, Mr Nash said Boomerang Bags Camden Haven aimed to teach skills, increase confidence and self-esteem for its volunteers and the local unemployed.

“Skills like sewing, cutting, ironing, reading and making Patterns – which they can learn at our warehouse. Plus Retail skills they can gain at the local markets where we will be selling our better quality bags,” Mr Nash said.

“We are also now in a position to offer our unemployed volunteers the opportunity to satisfy Centrelink with their obligation to do their weekly volunteer Hours.”

The project is having a flow on effect with other organisations in the community getting on board with reducing plastic bag wastage.

“One of those organisations being our Auspice group the Port Macquarie Neighbourhood Centre – they run the Food Connect program which provides rescued food to those in need. They use our bags to help people to carry their food home and then bring the bags back to be used again in future,” Mr Nash said.

Boomerang Bags Camden Haven volunteers Jackie Leyton and Joy Rodwell said it was great to be part of a cause that had such a positive impact for both the environment and the local community.

“I hate plastic and I found that this is one of the best ways to stop using plastic bags, it’s fantastic, and really good fun,” said Ms Leyton.

“I love volunteering, this is one of the many things that I volunteer for. It’s really awesome because you are using your skills, as well as learning new skills and meeting new people,” said Ms Rodwell.

ETC Board Chairman, Rod McKelvey, said it was a pleasure to be able to support Boomerang Bags Camden Haven with $4650 towards their new equipment.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Mr McKelvey said.

“Since 2012 we have given back $1 million to local communities through the ETC Community Support Fund. We are proud to be a not-for-profit company.”

ETC also provides employment and training services. If you need help finding a job, are looking for staff or are interested in up-skilling, contact ETC on 1800 007 400.

To find out more about Boomerang Bags visit https://boomerangbags.org/

 

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