A new project to reduce the number of plastic bags being used and discarded has been launched in Tauranga.

The Tauranga community was being asked to donate fabric to make reusable "Boomerang Bags".

Organiser Charlotte Manville said Boomerang Bags Tauranga was a way of tackling pollution at the grassroots level - "not waiting for big chains to make the change."

"How it works is the community donates fabric which is then upcycled into reusable bags. The bags are then put back into the community for people to use and reuse."


The idea and organisation started in Australia and when Ms Manville caught wind of it she thought it was the perfect thing to do in Tauranga.

"The Bay of Plenty is beautiful and we have a beautiful beach and we need to be doing more to help look after it," Ms Manville said.

Driven by her passion for the environment and ocean, Ms Manville thought the Tauranga community was ready to make a difference in addressing the growing problem of plastic bags in landfills and marine environments.

People had already begun donating fabric - anything from old sheets, blankets and curtains.

Several interior design businesses had donated their old scrapbook fabric or end bits of curtains.

"Everyone has been really positive and excited about it. A Lot of people have put their hands up to volunteer even if they don't sew," Ms Manville said.

Ms Manville wanted to start collecting fabric early, so she would have plenty when October 9 came around - the date of a sewing bee where volunteers would cut materials, pin, iron, stamp and sew the bags together.

"All ages are welcome to the sewing bees and no experience needed - though if people do have skills in sewing or a sewing machine that is always a bonus," Ms Manville said.

Fabric donations could be dropped off to Mount Maunganui Public Library, 398 Maunganui Road in the box marked FABRIC DONATIONS.

The Sewing Bee would take place on October 9 from 10am at Mount Maunganui Surf Lifesaving Club.