Clunes set to embrace plastic bag-free living

Switching: Wesley College students Tom, Annabelle, Hannah and Luca are part of a class leading the charge to rid Clunes of plastic bags.
Switching: Wesley College students Tom, Annabelle, Hannah and Luca are part of a class leading the charge to rid Clunes of plastic bags.

Clunes looks set to be the next town to embrace plastic bag-free living thanks to a push from Wesley College students to implement a boomerang bag system throughout the town.   

The year nine students will be convening a bag production workshop at the school’s Jubilee Hall at 7.30 Wednesday night, with members of the community encouraged to come along with fabric and sewing equipment to join in the production of the reusable bags. 

Unlike regular reusable bags, the boomerang bag movement encourages shoppers to leave fabric bags at the supermarket which can be used by everyone, eliminating the problem of forgetting to bring your bags.  

The initiative has already been successfully implemented at the Daylesford Coles. 

Wesley College student Luca said the project had received great support from local businesses, predominantly the Clunes IGA. 

“Wednesday night will be a gathering where people from all around the community can come and see what we've been working on and see how it will work in the community.”  

The project is one of a number of group community projects being undertaken by the current crop of Wesley College students, who for a term move away from their Melbourne campus and call Clunes home. 

Students are also involved in community activities such as the upcoming Clunes Booktown as well as the monthly farmers market. 

"It gives you a lot of freedom because it takes you away from the regular environment of school where you're given assignments and told what you have to research," class member Hannah said of the project. "It gives you a lot more space to decide what you want to learn about."

Wesley College head of student welfare and community partnership Tim Nolan said while the breakaway year nine program had been proven to have educational benefits, it also played a major role in developing emotional maturity.  "The idea is to come away from normal schooling and what is considered a child's space into more self directed learning.”