Mary Banks was 33 years old in 1965 when polyethylene shopping bags arrived in Kingston, her seaside hometown of 2,000 on South Australia's Limestone Coast. She welcomed the cheaper alternative to cloth and paper bags then. But now well into retirement, she is part of Kingston SE Small Steps, known around town as the "bag ladies", who turn donated materials into hand-sewn recyclable bags. Since Liz Wingard founded the group in October 2019, they've made nearly 18,000 shopping bags and 8,500 produce bags from recycled materials. It takes five women roughly 15 minutes to make each bag. "We have people who cut the fabric, someone who stitches the handles, and the next person turns the handles for us. Then we stitch the bags, we overlock bags, we give the bags back. And then they're ready to go," Liz says. The bags are now offered free-of-charge in two-thirds of Kingston's small businesses.

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