Volunteer group thriving, 5000 Boomerang Bags and counting

Kiama Boomerang Bags is thriving, with the community led movement continuing to gain traction and expand.

Boomerang Bags’ Camilla Kerr-Ruston said the group had lovingly sewed about 5000 shopping bags for the community.

“We now hold two sewing bees, one on a Monday as well as one on a Wednesday,” she said.

“The community support has been amazing, not only from people coming to sew, but people donating fabrics and also sewing machines that even if they don’t work they are still being recycled because they are being used for parts for other machines.”

Mrs Kerr-Ruston said while the group continued to create the borrow bags, people tended to want their own unique shopping bag to keep. 

“We have very much moved to the $4 bags, they’re also proving to be fabulous gifts for people, who are here on holiday, they take them home and of course it is still spreading the message,” she said.

Kiama Council’s waste minimisation officer Josephine St John said Boomerang Bags recently held a pop-up shop in the Kiama Village shopping centre, which coincided with Woolworths’ ban on single use plastic bags.

“We ran it for three days and it focused on the plastic bag free concept, it also gave people the alternative of another type of shopping bag,” she said.

“Boomerang Bags set up shop with sewing machines for three days and they pumped out quite a few bags.”

Following on from the great success of the pop-up shop, Mrs St John said the decision was made to place signage in the Kiama Village car park, to act as a subtle reminder for shoppers.

“We thought we may need some signage out in the car park because often people leave their bags in the car,” she said.   

“It was funny, as we were putting the signs up, people saw us and went back to their cars to get their Boomerang Bags.

“We worked really well with centre management and they gave us the permission to do it.”