Visit Ely
Visit England
Ely Tourist Information Centre
Official Partner of Visit England

Ely Borrow Bag


Ely city centre is on a mission to become free of plastic bags but we need your help. We have joined the national Morsbags initiative and created Ely Borrow Bags with the aim to encourage local shops and businesses to offer customers strong reusable, original, recycled and washable bags that will last for years, reducing the use of plastic bags. This is a community-based scheme and volunteers are invited to join in whether by making and distributing the bags, donating fabric or helping to spread the word.

Why are we doing this?

Globally, over 1 million plastic bags are consumed per minute. Plastic bags in water are serial killers. They are ingested by marine wildlife, as plastic bags are often mistaken for jellyfish. The dolphin, whale, turtle or bird dies by suffocation or starvation and decomposes around the bag. The bag floats off, ready for its next victim. By using Morsbags we will be doing our bit to reduce the number of plastic bags in our city centre.

How to get involved?

Anyone can make a Morsbag for themselves, but we are really hoping that people will join the Ely Borrow Bag Pod at and make as many bags as possible that we can distribute locally. Please join in and register how many bags you’ve made.  Ely Borrow Bag Pod is co-ordinated by local independent, sewing specialist, Sew Much To Do which will also be running regular bag making ‘sewcials’. Please contact them for more details on

How to you make an Ely Morsbag?

Raid your airing cupboard for scraps of material such as old bedding or curtains. Call into the Tourist Information Centre or Sew Much to Do and collect your Ely Borrow Bag label and Morsbag tag. Follow the instructions on how to make a bag which are detailed on the Morsbag website. However, if you are an accomplished needleworker you may wish to use your own pattern. To be an official Ely Morsbag, your bag must have our Ely Borrow Bag label on as well as the Morsbag tab. However, feel free to further customise your bag as you wish.

What do I do with my bag once I've made it?

Either use it yourself whilst out shopping or donate it to any of the participating shops in Ely who will be displaying a sign. Alternatively, drop them into the Tourist Information Centre and we will distribute to the shops on your behalf.

Tell us about it?

Please help spread the word and show us your bag by linking with us on Facebook and Twitter using #elyborrowbag. Also, please log the number of bags you have made on the Ely Pod of the Morsbag website so the pod tally rises. This will inspire people to join in and get sewing.

How many have we made so far?

The intiative launched in October 2018, and our initial target was 500 by Christmas. We are delighted to say that we have hit this target! Our next aim is 1,000 but we need your help. We have shops willing to sign up to the scheme but each one really needs an initial supply of 50 bags to start them off and of course we then need to keep topping them up as undoubtedly some bags will not be directly returned to the High Street. However, as long as they remain in circulation and elimate the need to use plastic bags we are happy!

Which shops have already come on board?

Our list of participating shops and businesses are growing by the week. Currently #elyborrowbags can be picked up from the following:

Ely Tourist Information Centre, Poets House and Cloisters Arts and Antiques, St Marys Street

Sew Much to Do, Burrows Book Shop and Artichoke - High Street Passage

Little Roos, Kays Lighting and Gift Shop, Hughes Electrical, Burrows Newspapers - High Street

Lemon Tree Deli and Ely Fudge Company - Market Place

3 at 3, Three Cups Walk

Ely Museum 

Cathedral Centre and Stained Glass Museum - located within Ely Cathedral

Cutter Pub, Waterside

Hawthorn Cottage, Littleport

Mad Hatters Campsite, Queen Adelaide

Almost Angels - 10 Forehill Ely, CB7 4AF

Truly Scrumptious Vegan - 35 Forehill Ely CB7 4AA

East Anglia's Children's Hospices Ely (EACH) 29, High Street CB7 4LQ




For more information:

Contact Visit Ely on