Goodbye, plastic bags

Volunteers and supermarket staff celebrated the launch of stands for reusable bags on Saturday. Photo – Lara Connors.

Following a massive sewing effort by Plastic Bag Free Cambridge, and some woodworking skills by a couple of volunteers, three reusable bag stands are now in place around Cambridge.  Launched on Saturday, the stands at New World, Fresh Choice and Wholly Cow were quickly emptied of their bags as enthusiastic shoppers snapped them up.

One of the organisers, Sam Brydon, said they had 100 bags in reserve but they disappeared fast.

Three reusable bag stands are now in place around Cambridge, at New World (pictured), Fresh Choice and Wholly Cow.

“We can’t supply 10 bags to every person in Cambridge, of course we can’t.  It’s an education thing more than anything,” Sam said.

While the group was thrilled at the positive response, Sam also asked that people please only take one or two bags per family after reports that some people were taking more than this.  The collective has been hard at work sewing bags in their homes and at sewing bees held every Sunday at the Cambridge Community Centre.  Each bag takes around 45 minutes to sew, with material sourced from donations and op shops.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive, Sam said, and volunteers – including new volunteers since the launch – are hard at work making more in the drive to eliminate the use of plastic bags.

Also getting into the spirit of ditching the plastic, Cambridge real estate agent company LJ Hooker is offering five free reusable bags for each household, which should be plenty to get the shopping done.  Just call into their office at 55 Victoria St to collect your bags and say ‘goodbye’ to the scourge of plastic bags. Gerda Elliott from LJ Hooker said it was a move designed to help the environment by discouraging the use of plastic bags.  “I see so much waste as far as plastic goes…we just want to do our bit,” she said.

Plastic Bag Free Cambridge volunteers meet for a sewing bee to make reusable bags on Sundays from 1.30 – 5.30pm at the Cambridge Community Centre on Taylor St, so bring your own sewing machine and pop along to help out if that’s your thing.

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