Making a difference is in the bag

In 2015, Eurobodalla Shire Council and Broulee Public school worked together to trial a program aimed to help the school community reduce their dependence on single use plastics.

The program focused on single use vegetable shopping bags. Volunteers from the school’s P&C made shopping bags out of alternate materials and distributed them to students for them and their parents to use instead of plastic bags they might find at supermarkets

The program engages the whole school community, promotes environmental sustainability and provides the P&C with a small income.

The process

Eurobodalla environment education officer (EEEO) worked with Broulee public school to secure the use of their school hall for two consecutive days to use as the production area for the bag making.

The EEEO visited stage 2 (years 3 and 4) classrooms to explain what the project was about, why it is important to reduce the dependence of single use plastic items and how the students can be involved in making the program work. The officer also made a presentation at the school assembly to inform the whole school about the activity.

Parents/P & C from Broulee public provided the workforce. This trial consisted of 6 volunteers, 4 sewing machines, 1 overlocker, scissors, and 1 iron.

Materials for the project were sourced at opportunity shops and donations from the school community.

Materials used were:

• second hand lace curtains – from opportunity shops
• lightweight fabric for boarder – from opportunity shops and P&C
• Cotton cord – we used piping cord bought from fabric store.
• Cotton threads provided by volunteers

135 bags were made and distributed to the stage 2 students, each bag had a flyer included to explain what/how and why it should be used. The flyer also acted as an order form if families wanted to purchase bags from the P&C. This process allowed Broulee P&C to see how the bags were accepted and gage the response. From the positive response it is now an activity the P&C will continue with and sell the bags for a small fee (to be determined).


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