Emsworth eco-charity Final Straw Foundation launches 'borrow bags' to help fight plastic pollution

Emsworth based eco-charity Final Straw Foundation has launched ‘borrow bags’ to help fight plastic pollution.Emsworth based eco-charity Final Straw Foundation has launched ‘borrow bags’ to help fight plastic pollution.
Emsworth based eco-charity Final Straw Foundation has launched ‘borrow bags’ to help fight plastic pollution.
Emsworth based eco-charity Final Straw Foundation has launched ‘borrow bags’ to help fight plastic pollution.

The Final Straw Foundation, an environmental charity based in Emsworth, has launched the new scheme across Emsworth and Hayling Island aiming to reduce plastic waste, one bag at a time.

By using pre-loved fabric to create reusable bags that will be distributed in local shops, the aim is to reduce the reliance on plastic bags by switching them with fabric ‘borrow bags’ that can be used time and time again. The idea behind borrow bags is simple. Pre-loved fabric, such as old curtains, duvet covers and fabric remnants, is donated to the charity. Volunteer groups then sew the textiles into reusable fabric bags.

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Local shops that have signed up to the scheme are provided with free batches of the bags to give out to customers who have forgotten to bring their own, with the intention that the next time the customer visits the shop, they can return the bag – or they can simply keep using it.

Emsworth based eco-charity Final Straw Foundation has launched ‘borrow bags’ to help fight plastic pollution.Emsworth based eco-charity Final Straw Foundation has launched ‘borrow bags’ to help fight plastic pollution.
Emsworth based eco-charity Final Straw Foundation has launched ‘borrow bags’ to help fight plastic pollution.

Charity co-founder Lissie Pollard said: “This not only reduces the need for plastic bags, which helps to tackle plastic pollution, but diverts fabric from our waste streams. We have also been running borrow bag workshops over the winter as part of the wider warm spaces scheme, so that people can come to a local community centre, sew bags, enjoy free hot drinks and make new connections.

“We are proud of the scheme on every level and hope that it’s a huge success. We are so grateful to our volunteers, we couldn’t do this project without them.”

Volunteer Carol Carter has been running a borrow bag group on Hayling Island.

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Borrow bags are made by teams of 'brilliant' volunteers, bringing local people across Emsworth and Hayling Island together.

She said: “I enjoy the bag workshops, which are helping to save the planet! They bring people together for fun, creative and very social events where new skills can be learnt, and new friends made.”

More than 2,500 bags have now been made by volunteers, diverting 200 kg of fabric from the waste stream, and more than 20 shops are taking part in the local scheme.

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