APOLLO BAY residents are throwing their support behind a campaign to reduce the number of plastic bags shoppers use at in the coastal town.
A group of residents are working towards introducing Boomerang Bags throughout Apollo Bay to encourage people to eliminate the use of one-use plastic bags.
The driving force behind Boomerang Bags at Apollo Bay is Shelly Forche-Baird who has been working with community members to introduce the environmentally friendly campaign.
“I’ve always enjoyed running outdoors and being on the beach and you see so much litter while you’re out there,” she said.
“And then I started seeing the plastic bags were breaking down and I just thought about how hard it would be to clean that up when they’re broken down into those micro bits of plastic.”
Ms Forche-Baird said she heard about Boomerang Bags through her partner’s mother who lives at Mallacoota, in east Victoria.
She said Mallacoota was a similar town to Apollo Bay and the bags were working well to reduce the number of plastic bags in the town.
“The idea is if you forget a bag there’s one there for you to use or if you’ve got extra spare bags you can donate them,” Ms Forche-Baird said.
“It’s just about providing an option instead of plastic and because they’re made from recycled materials we’re not creating any more impact either,” she said.
Ms Forche-Baird said volunteers made the bags from recycled materials donated by community members.
She said there was a range of ways people could participate in the project including making bags, donating fabric or cutting out patterns.
“The other piece of the project is engaging the community. I’ve just opened it up to the community and we had some people come along with great ideas,” Ms Forche-Baird said.
She said the group hoped to place bags in shops and accommodation around Apollo Bay, encouraging tourists to use a Boomerang Bag during their stay in the popular tourist destination and return the bag at the end of their trip.
“What the plan is to try and get a number of them along the Great Ocean Road or within the Otways and just get them out there and let them spread,” Ms Forche-Baird said.
“We would like to get into the schools and start teaching them about it and make it a whole change to move away from plastic,” she said.
People wanting to help with Boomerang Bags in Apollo Bay can contact Ms Forche-Baird on firstname.lastname@example.org
Birregurra banned plastic bags in 2004, and Timboon followed suit in 2006.