Last-minute grocery shopping? Forgot your bags from home? No problem, at least not at one grocery store in Powell River.
November marked the launch of Save-On-Foods’ Boomerang Bags campaign, where 700 cloth bags were made available to shoppers to borrow and then return on a future trip to the store.
About 150 of the bags were hand-sewn using scrap fabric by a dedicated group of volunteers under the leadership of local resident Lesley Thorsell. The remainder of the cloth bags were purchased and donated by local businesses keen to get this waste-reduction program going.
The program addresses the challenge of waste reduction at its root: convenience. When it is convenient to make an eco-friendly choice, many people will opt to do so.
It is no surprise the campaign is taking off across the globe; it started in Australia, as its name hints. The Boomerang Bags campaign is finding its resilience from being community driven, community made and community accessible.
There are already whispers of other local stores being interested in having a bin of Boomerang Bags available for customers as well, so the sewing is far from over. Anyone interested in becoming involved by sewing, donating fabric, or donating cloth bags can contact Thorsell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadians go through about 200 plastic bags per year, many of which end up in our waterways and look deceptively like seaweed to marine life. Approximately 100,000 marine mammals die every year due to marine plastic.
As much as we like to imagine most bags are recycled, in BC only about 30 per cent are, which is better than the landfill, but still energy intensive.
If bags come into your life, remember they are only recyclable at depots, not curbside, because they are tossed about by the wind and also get caught up in gears at recycling processing plants when mixed with other recyclables.
Ensure sandwich bags and freezer bags are separated from garbage and brought to depots to be included in a special collection offered in partnership with Walmart, which funds the recycling of those items not accepted in our Recycle BC program.
Remember to pack a bag or basket before shopping trips, or take advantage of the new Boomerang Bags at Save-On-Foods.
Let’s Talk Trash is Powell River Regional District’s waste-management education program.