West Coasters had a blast making bags at a Stitch’n’Beach session on Saturday.

Surfrider aims to eliminate plastic bags in Tofino

“It’s a great way to get involved with the community, have fun, meet others and perhaps find a way to volunteer that you hadn’t before."

With plastic straws just about pushed into extinction, Surfrider Pacific Rim is now setting its sights on eliminating plastic bags.

The foundation has dropped a challenge on the West Coast to create or donate 1,000 re-useable bags by the time the Pacific Rim Whale Festival closes on March. 24, according to Surfrider chair Michelle Hall. In an email to the Westerly News, Hall explained the bags will be dished out for free at the Tofino Co-op as part of a ‘Bring Your Own Bag’ campaign aimed at encouraging locals and visitors to cut down on, and think about, their single-use plastic consumption.

“We have so many participants from the Mayor sewing bags at home, to Tin Wis donating 50 pillow cases, kids cutting out patterns and our wise sewing machine masters offering tutorials,” Hall said.

“This community is one that is ready to give up the disposable lifestyle and help be the educators to our visitors and celebrate with each other when we reach our goals. This ain’t a one man job and we have lots of stoke happening for this challenge right now. The Pacific Rim Whale Festival and Tourism Tofino are the biggest supporters. How much more confident could we get with this kind of backing?”

She encourages anyone interested to check out Surfrider’s weekly ‘Stitch’n’Beach’ groups, held every Saturday at Tourism Tofino’s office from 10 a.m. To 1 p.m.

“It’s a great way to get involved with the community, have fun, meet others and perhaps find a way to volunteer that you hadn’t before,” she said.

Anyone with re-useable bags to donate, can drop them off at Green Soul Organics, Merge, Caravan, or Ucluelet Secondary School.

“If you are a business you can donate linens and pillow cases,” Hall suggested. “If you have material to donate or a sewing machine to loan, or want to just help cut patterns out, perfect. Come to Stitch’n’Beach, everyone is welcome.”

Hall said the idea came to Surfrider through the foundation’s public Facebook forum where several online fans cited the success of a similar campaign happening in Australia dubbed ‘Boomerang Bags.’

She said Surfrider hopes Tofino can “move away from plastic bags, and become a plastic bag free town,” through raising awareness of the impacts single-use plastics are having on the environment and encouraging people to make a change in their daily routines.

“We are faced with over 100 decisions a day that involve plastic, remembering to bring a reusable bag is a simple way to reduce the amounts of plastics we have been addicted to,” she said.

“Decreasing the amounts of waste going to landfill and the amounts of marine debris and litter found on our beaches is obviously an immediate outcome. Long term? The West Coast prides itself on being a community of environmental defenders, lets take that opportunity to become the educators and the solution and not add to the plastic pollution.”

The final Stitch’ Beach group will be held on March 24 at the Tofino Legion and the event will include  a special film screening of  ‘A Plastic Ocean.”

“There will be a juicy panel discussion afterwards with guest panel including Mayor Josie Osborne and Ucluelet Aquarium curator Laura Griffith Cochrane, some local groms and a special guest,” Hall said.

The film event is by donation and everyone, including kids, is welcome to attend. Surfrider’s next beach cleanup is scheduled for March 11 at Wick Beach.

Anyone looking for more information can reach out to Volunteercoordinator@pacificrim.surfrider.org.

 

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

The long winding road to Tofino-Ucluelet—then and now

If you are feeling frustrated about the Highway 4 closures, sit back read about what came before.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Farm and Garden Show coming to Tofino

Greenthumbs unite at the Tofino Botanical Gardens from Feb. 22-24.

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read