Mossman school teacher steps up pollution fight


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Julia Toft, Mossman State High School teacher and the driver behind Boomerang Bags in the Douglas Shire. IMAGE: Howard Salkow - Newsport.

MOSSMAN State High School teacher Julia Toft has taken the fight to eradicate plastic pollution to a new level by launching and introducing Boomerang Bags to the shire.

And her timing is perfect as next year Queensland will join other states, such as South Australia and the Northern Territory, in barring the use of plastic bags.

This unique concept involves turning items, such as linen items, old football jerseys and duvets, into Boomerang Bags, which can be used and re-used for multiple purposes.

This past Saturday in the home economics room at the school, more than 20 volunteers were ironing, cutting, pinning, marking, sewing or on-locking a variety of items and turning them into bags that will find their way to places like Yum Yums, Scomazzons, Daintree Ice Cream and Orion St Pierre Fisheries, where they will be available for use.

“I am delighted with the response we have had from the community. The more who hear about the venture, want to get involved, or provide usable items,” said Ms Toft.

She said we need to change our attitudes to waste plastic. Next year, plastic bags will no longer be available for use in the Douglas Shire.

“Many states already have a ‘no-free-plastic-bag” policy and some countries have banned single use plastic.

“We hope to help make the Douglas Shire part of the bigger picture to reduce the plastic pollution in our oceans, local waterways and soils,” said Ms Toft.

The unique initiative to tackle plastic pollution at the grassroots level, started within the community of Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast in 2013, found its way to the Douglas Shire, and there are expectations it will spread far and wide.

Co-founders, Tania Potts and Jordyn de Boer, met up with the dream of reducing plastic bags within their community and thanks to dozens of amazing supporters and hundreds of dedicated volunteers, Boomerang Bags is now spreading into communities Australia-wide.

Ms Toft said this activity is also ideal for those keen to spend time with others and make new friends.

“We invite anyone (male and female) to join us on a Saturday morning and, many people who might otherwise be feeling a little lonely and isolated, are able to get together and share stories and a cuppa while doing something positive about the litter.

“It also means that customers who have genuinely forgotten to bring their re-useable bags can borrow one of these hand-made bags and either return it for re-use by someone else, or re-use it themselves,” she said.

Further information visit the Boomerang Bags website or contact Julia Toft on (07) 4084 1333 

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