December of this year, which is good news for the environment, but a problem remains: Low-income families and seniors often can’t afford to buy reusable bags.
Enter Sierra Rothberg and her 12-year-old daughter, Calida Beliveau. Rothberg started Boomerang Bags Boston, a chapter of an Australian-based organization that provides washable, reusable bags to communities that need them. Her work earned her the W2O 2018 Ocean Spirit Award from Women Working for Oceans.
Calida had been a passionate and vocal advocate for Boston’s bag ban for years, and when her mother learned that access to reusable bags was a barrier to the city passing the bag ordinance, she sprang into action. With the help of the Girl Scout troop Rothberg leads, plus talented friends, volunteer sewers, weekend sew-a-thons, and people donating materials, Boomerang Bags Boston has created more than 2,000 beautiful reusable bags, and is making more all the time.
Some of the bags will be given directly to shoppers, while others will be given to organizations that will lend them to customers. For instance, Rothberg says Boston Medical Center’s food bank has 1,200 borrow-and-bring-back bags that it will begin providing to clients later this year.
Now Rothberg is working to expand the program as much as possible. She says it was an honor to be recognized for her work by W2O. “How can we support our low-income families and seniors? This is how we can do that,” she says. “You’re just feet on the ground, doing the things you know how to do.”
To learn more about Boomerang Bags Boston, including how to help, visit lusterity.com/boomerangbagsboston.