Linden Hills resident hopes to expand reusable bags program

The founder of Minneapolis' Boomerang Bag program is looking to expand it to neighborhoods beyond Linden Hills. Submitted photo

Felicity Britton brought Boomerang Bags to Linden Hills. Now she’s trying to bring them to other neighborhoods.

Britton, a Linden Hills resident and Linden Hills Power & Light board member, is trying to get other organizations to create the reusable bags, which can replace single-use plastic bags. A couple of groups have expressed interest, she said.

She and other volunteers create the bags and distribute them for free at the Midtown Global Market, Linden Hills Farmer’s Market and Heartfelt. They make about 20 bags a month.

boomerang bag receptacle

Britton, an Australia native, first saw Boomerang Bags on a visit to the country about five years ago. She tried to get Linden Hills Power & Light board to start a program, but its focus was on curbside organics recycling at the time, she said.

She started the program last fall. Five people came to the first sewing bee, and 12 came to the second one, Britton said. She was going to have bees every other month but switched to every month because they were popular.

People are needed to iron, cut and pin the bags, in addition to sewing, she said.

She said the average family uses 500 plastic bags a year and the bags are used an average of 12 minutes. Less than five percent are recycled, she said. Bags blow away from landfills and end up in trees and freeways.

She continues to hope for passage of a plastic bag fee in Minneapolis, despite the City Council delaying a vote on it.

“People don’t change their behavior just based on education,” she said. “Unfortunately, there needs to be an incentive.”

People can do the sewing at home, Britton said. They’ll accept other reusable bags, such as ones given out at Athleta.

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