A LOCAL community group is helping Southern Downs shoppers go green.
Boomerang Bags is responsible for turning donated fabrics into more than 50,000 shopping bags.
Brooke Summerville is spearheading the cause on the Granite Belt, helping Stanthorpe businesses to phase out plastic shopping bags.
Ms Summerville presented six of the bespoke carry bags to Southern Downs councillors during their general meeting at the Stanthorpe Chambers this morning, for council staff to use.
"When I moved here from Brisbane I noticed it was a lovely area but there was a lot of litter around the highways and plastic getting into the creeks,” Ms Summerville said.
"The idea of the bags is people can buy their own or businesses can have them on hand for someone who hasn't brought along their own carry bag, lend them out to shoppers and then they can bring them back in.
"So far we've helped five shops in Stanthorpe to get rid of plastic bags.
"It's all to help reduce the reliance on plastic bags - people are realising it's a simple but very effective strategy.”
The push for less plastic comes ahead of a statewide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in Queensland next year.
Mayor Tracy Dobie said she was pleased to see a grass-roots initiative was helping to reduce waste in the region.
"In places where bans are already in place, like in South Australia, taking your own bag just becomes a habit,” Cr Dobie said.
"I think this is a good idea to get people to start thinking about relying less on plastic bags, and it involved the community.”
The initiative operates in more than 54 communities of volunteers in Australia and overseas.
The Stanthorpe Boomerang Bags collective have moved their main sewing centre to Bridget Bunchy on Granite Belt Dr.
Volunteers are welcomed to join the cause to cut, iron, stamp and sew the materials, while businesses and individuals can carry the bags or make a material or cash donation.
If you would like to join the Southern Downs sewing bees, phone Brooke on 0413007059.
For more information, check out boomerangbags.org
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