Life at No.22, New Zealand

Boomerang Bags Tauranga

How do you stop using plastic supermarket bags?

By getting together with a group of focused, energised women and sewing recycled material bags to use for those trips to fill them with food.

There is nothing new about the drive to stop the public from using plastic supermarket bags. What is terrific about this organisation is that;

Boomerang Bags is driven by communities, for communities! It’s about raising awareness, connecting people, creating solutions and fostering sustainable behaviour.

Where did this idea originate from?

The umbrella organisation Boomerang Bags was started in Australia. Which is no real surprise! Their goal is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic and divert usable materials from the landfills of the world. It is free and accessible. With the encouragement for people to set up individual groups in their communities, was all it took for one to be established in Tauranga. Which happened in October 2016, with the start of the Tauranga branch of Boomerang Bags by Charlotte Manville.

The drive of not using single-use plastic bags is promoted actively by seeking out people from all walks of life to contribute their time to create bags via a “sewing bee”. This is where I believe a more passionate involvement in a fun way, begins in changing peoples habits and becoming more environmentally aware when doing our weekly shopping.

The Sewing Bee

Once introductions are done, it is back to work creating more bags. Each woman is involved in the various stages of bag making, from ironing, pinning, cutting to sewing. Next time I go along I have made a mental note to bring my reading glasses so I can use the sewing machines! I enjoyed my small involvement involving ironing and pinning.

There is no big speel about environmental issues or grandstanding.

More likely than not the chatter will be on a personal level about what is happening in the community and the different lives of those present. Now and again, someone will exclaim, “Oh, I love that fabric“, which will be extended to the story behind that bright oblong piece of fabric. Every bit of recycled fabric has a story.

The Girls at work

How many of you have got to the supermarket and forgot your bags? Me, on numerous occasions. Well, if you happen to live around the Greerton, Mount and Papamoa areas you can head on over to one of their bins, pick up a bag and when you are next in town, drop it back in. Or the alternative would be to buy one via a donation.

So, where are these bins?

Located at the below locations:

  • Waipuna Hospice Charity Shop – Greerton Shopping Centre

Facebook – Greeton Hospice Shop

Location: 1267 Cameron Road, 3112 Greerton, New Zealand

  • Plum Organics Papamoa

Facebook – Plum Organics Papamoa

Location: Fashion Island, Gravatt Road, 3118 Papamoa

  • Ripcurl Mount Maunganui

Facebook – Ripcurl

Location: Shop 1, 138 Maunganui Road, 3116 Mount Maunganui

The buy “bought to support” bags can be found at ReStore in Papamoa.

Catch up with Boomerang Bags at the Little Big Market and various others around the area.

Don’t need a bag?

Then you may like to donate via boomerang bags – get involved these donations are used

“to start and support new and existing communities around the world, make boomerang bags, diverts fabric and plastic waste from landfill, keeps our sewing machines running, and our volunteers hydrated and happy”

Want to be actively engaged in a fun way and support the environment?

Then head on over to their Facebook page for details of the next Sewing bee. The night I attended it was held at “Our Place”, in Willow Street, Tauranga.

“Our Place”, is a funky dynamic place using shipping containers to house various retail, art, food, bar, good coffee and live music. Check it out next time you are in Tauranga.

If you happen to live in another part of the world, or not, drop the details of a similar organisation available for people to participate in, via a comment below.

38 thoughts on “Boomerang Bags Tauranga”

  1. I don’t know of a similar initiative, either here or in the UK, and I’m a rotten sewer, but I applaud the idea. I have a material bag sewn by my daughter and a ‘heavy duty’ plastic one that I use for supermarket trips. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great idea! I hate it when I get to the check-out only to realize that I forgot my bags! This is fantastic! Also, this post it taking me back to Tauranga from a couple of years ago. Thanks for the step back in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leah, and , a pleasure to take you back a few memories of Tauranga. Yes, they are a hard working bunch of women who are keeping this organisation alive. I hope to contribute a few more hours in the near future!


      1. Good for you! While we were there, I managed to pitch in at the Re-Store in Papamoa. That gave me a great opportunity to visit with local volunteers. That lowed me to learn much more than I would have by simply doing tourist stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly Leah, I love learning more about local “things”. Whether it’s here in my country of birth NZ or when we are overseas housesitting. Must check out Re-Store in Papamoa!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. At our local supermarket they no longer use plastic bags though the other day there were ones available for 50cents alongside the recyclable ones. We have just purchased a shopping trolley which is so easy to use when walking down to the local markets.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s too someone finding a cheaper solution for manufacturers to use instead of plastic. At the end of the day that is what counts for business and governments. Money!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen these bags mentioned before (I think in the US?) and thought they were a great idea. I’m methodical enough that I have my bags in the boot and always take them in with me. I also have a little back-up plastic bag in the bottom of my handbag for those spur of the moment purchases. I think for those who are less organized (most people) bags like this are so much better than the ones the supermarket sells for 15c each – heavier duty plastic, but they still end up in landfill because people are lazy.
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Deb 😊 I brought shopping bags from the UK and every place we housesat great for shifting stuff! We now have a shopping trolley and it’s red 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great initiative Suzanne and my daughter has told me about the group here in Brisbane. As Qld has now moved to no single use plastic bags the Boomerang Bags not only solve the problem but also brings people together as a community to work for the good of the environment and our future generations. Thanks so much for sharing at #MLSTL and have a fabulous week. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue, yes I can imagine there would be quite few Boomerang Bag groups in Australia. It is a positive and active thing to do for the community and environment. Have a good weekend too πŸ™‚


  5. What a fantastic idea it is. There’s a group in Whakatane and in Kawerau, a group of young mums make beautiful bags. Another group makes rubbish bags and bags for your veges out of newspaper. Its a happening thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are not the only one to forget their bags. So easy to do! Your new bag sounds like fun and I am sure it will be helpful.


    1. It is a good way to build communities and reduce waste. Plus, it was wonderful way to meet and spend time with other like minded women.


    1. Thanks Tracey, I think it is a fabulous idea too. So many women have worked long hours to make it work and having fun along the way from what I experienced.


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