Nurses and students have it in the bag

Monday 23 October 2017


Bass Coast Health’s (BCH) Maternal and Child Health (MCH) service at San Remo has teamed with local students to take on the ‘war on waste’ by supplying newspaper alternatives to plastic bags for soiled nappies.

In March this year, Wonthaggi Secondary College (WSC) became the first local school to embark on what has become a popular and successful environmental crusade by assisting with the Boomerang Bag initiative for Bass Coast through WSC teacher Rebecca Manning’s school pillow slip drive. Around the same time, they made over 200 newspaper nappy bags (designed by student Jordyn de Boer as a waste bag and dubbed ‘origami bags’), with the intention of the bags being supplied to new parents as an alternative to plastic bags.

With Australians throwing away over 5.4 million nappies a day, it is scary to think of how many extra plastic bags are also going into landfill.

“This project was designed to hopefully connect schools with each other and with the community by bringing people together who may not necessarily ever meet and by giving them the opportunity to feel like they could contribute to others,” said Mrs Manning.

Last term, Newhaven College year 9’s worked for over ten weeks alongside their dedicated teacher Ann-Marie to make origami bags as part of their community program. These bags were provided to BCH’s Maternal and Child Health service for clients wanting to help the environment – one nappy at a time.

Bec McFarlane, one of BCH’s passionate maternal health nurses, was delighted to be able to play a part not only in uniting the community with local schools by working together to support local new parents, but by also making a positive difference to the environment for the next generation to enjoy.


“It’s wonderful to see our local students engaging in this community project at a time when our community is mindfully shifting its resource usage. This provides families attending our service with a different option to dispose of used nappies and continues the conversation about reducing the use of plastic to preserve our beautiful environment”, said Bec.


This ongoing initiative currently supplies BCH’s San Remo MCH service with origami bags, with plans to expand it to Wonthaggi in the near future.


If you would like more information about BCH’s MCH Nurses or the origami bag initiative, please contact the San Remo MCH Nurses on 5678 5930.

Pictured (L-R): BCH Maternal & Child Health Nurse Rebecca McFarlane, WSC student Holly Hughes, MCH clients Anthea and Harrison Licis, WSC students Orana Lynch and Mayson Vander Kolk.