Sewing bees are being organised in Waihi to replace single-use plastic bags.

A Waihi Boomerang Bags group has started, along with Waihi beach, and is determined to provide an alternative to plastic shopping bags. The group comes as New World announces today it will ditch their plastic bags.

Founder Cathryn James says she was inspired by Thames to grow the initiative in Waihi.

"I was shopping there a few weeks ago and was offered a Boomerang Bag to use. After questioning, and hearing a bit about what a Boomerang Bag is, I thought, why isn't Waihi doing it too?" she said.


Boomerang Bags is a community-driven project where volunteers create fabric bags out of recycled materials.

Waihi and Waihi Beach bags have their own stamps with the town's logo.

Cath says the group has created 65 bags and will approach businesses in the community when it has a 100.

"All we need now are wooden chairs, rustic furniture - anything light to display the bags and put them in the shops' front.

"The idea is that when people walk into a shop, they can grab a bag, keep using it for shopping and can drop it another time at a different station."

The group is also contemplating having a stall at the Saturday market.

Cath says shops have supported the initiative.

"We have been well received, with op shops and stores being very supportive and generous. We've been given stuff from Hauraki Animal Rescue Team (HART), St John, the Salvation Army, furniture store Dillimores, and Waihi SPCA will have some things for us soon. We've also had a few boxes of fabric from friends' garages."


The group has about six women and more are needed to help sustain the initiative long-term.

"We have Take and Make packs which contain all the bag components which people can do at home," she said.

The first Waihi sewing bee started at the end of August, and a Facebook page was set up last month to spread the word.

The group meets every Thursday from 11.30am at Waihi Resource Centre.

Contact Cathryn on 021 0252 1446. Check out the Facebook page: Boomerang Bags Waihi.