August 13, 2019
In your own words, tell us about your project.
Our favourite aspect of this initiative is its simplicity. That is: we use preloved donated fabrics destined for recycling or landfill and turn it into beautiful functional shopping and produce bags. These bags are then distributed amongst the local community through the support of the business community and voluntary groups. The bags are displayed with an honesty box and all donations received are reinvested into the initiative.
From our launch in November 2018 we had four group members directly involved in ‘Athbags.’ Since then we have doubled our group members. We meet on the first Saturday of each month supporting our local community centre. During these meets we get busy cutting, measuring and matching fabric. We then take this prepared fabric and create our beautiful bags. This group consists of community members who all bring their own skill-sets together in an inclusive manner whilst enjoying the process over a cup of tea.
Due to community interest Athbag’s is now a conversation starter on plastic and waste awareness issues within the community. Developing from this Athbag’s has since hosted a recycling workshop in conjunction with Voice Ireland, attended by 50 residents and also hosted Athboy’s first community ‘Earth Hour’ event attended by over 40 local residents and musicians.
Why did you do this work?
What was the impact or outcome of your project?
- Reduction of use of single use plastic shopping bags with support from local businesses profiling our initiative
- Local Butchers now encourage customers to bring Tupperware or containers to bring meat products home. In addition one Butcher has introduced paper wrapping in place of most plastic bags.
- Refill Ireland initiative supported in local businesses encouraging town folk to use refillable water containers rather than buying disposable water bottles.
- Local sustainability workshops planned to establish sustainability baselines for Athboy
- Terracycle programme launch over Summer 2019.
Do you have any tips or advice for similar projects?
- Keep it simple
- Stick to your goals and objectives
- Be open to help and advice
- Get to know your group members – you never know what skillsets they have that may add to your project/
- Have fun and enjoy the journey