Reusable bag project wants your old T-shirts

A reusable bag made from a T-shirt, produced by Boomerang Bags Homer. (March 2, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Cordova banned plastic grocery bags in 2016, though many Cordovans may not have noticed. In spite of an ordinance against non-biodegradable plastic bags, many residents continue not to shop with reusable bags, said Shae Bowman, operations manager for the Copper River Watershed Project.

A previous effort to set up reusable bag libraries at local stores fizzled out after shoppers took bags but didn’t replace them, Bowman said. However, organizers are taking a second shot, this time with the support of sustainability group Boomerang Bags.

Organizers are now soliciting donations of T-shirts and flat bedsheets, two items that reliably make good bags, Bowman said. Donated materials can be dropped off at the CRWP offices on First Street. The project is also looking for residents with sewing machines who would be interested in hosting sewing bees to craft bags out of the donated materials.

A rollout of new reusable bag libraries is planned for Earth Day, April 22. The project is currently in talks to set up bag libraries at AC Value Center and Nichols’ Back Door Store, but would welcome other businesses to participate, Bowman said.

The goal of the project is to make shopping with reusable bags habitual, Bowman said. The project plans to use Facebook and Instagram to encourage residents to return bags after use, she said.

“I hope we can get the idea across that you’re supposed to bring the bags back, that you’re only borrowing them,” Bowman said. “I hope this can be part of a wider effort to reduce plastic usage.”