CWA Baldivis Belles re-purpose fabric to make re-usable bags ahead of plastic bag ban

IGA Baldivis manager Josh Rock with CWA Belles President Linda Tammin and Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby with Belles members in the background.
IGA Baldivis manager Josh Rock with CWA Belles President Linda Tammin and Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby with Belles members in the background.

RAIDING nanna’s sewing cabinet has proved valuable for CWA Baldivis Belles members as they repurpose forgotten fabrics from the ‘70s in to re-useable bags.

In support of the statewide ban by the State Government on single use plastic bags, the Belles have found the new venture is helping support their charitable work.

President Linda Tammin said the bags fit as much as a plastic bag and a larger size is also available.

“They are made from donated scraps of fabric; our first run had some pretty interesting designs on them – straight from the seventies,” she said.

“It’s actually amazing how much fabric was donated.

“As they are made from donated materials we can keep the cost down and each bag is just $5. They are sturdy and will be able to be re-used over and over again.”

Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby quickly snapped up two of bags, rather impressed by their design.

“When I told the Baldivis Belles at a meeting several months ago that the government was considering a ban there was a spontaneous cheer,” he said.

“The Belles obviously see a great opportunity to sell their beautifully handmade cotton shopping bags made from recycled material.

“These bags look great and are a lot more sturdy than a flimsy one-use plastic bag. Put a load of heavy cans in these and there’s no way the handles will rip off like the plastic ones.”

He urged people to support the Belles with their venture and said if people began now they would easily form a habit.

“Buy a couple and leave them in your car. You will be supporting a worthy cause and they are Australian made,” he said.

“I’m probably as bad as anyone when it comes to using free plastic bags when I do the shopping but once the change happens it’s just a matter of getting used to it and being prepared by having a few carry bags with you in the car.”

IGA National Retailer Council chair Ian Ashcroft said IGA was committed to the ban.

“IGA retailers nationally have committed to being single use lightweight shopping bag free by June 20, 2018,” he said.

“Many IGA retailers across Australia have already implemented this in store, along with a range of alternatives such as cardboard boxes, boomerang bags and reusable bags.”

The State Government announced the ban on September 12.

The ban will bring WA in line with South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, which already have plastic bag bans in place.

Queensland will also ban the bags on the same date as WA, from July 1, 2018.

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