Plastic bag free Fridays launch on George
Getting rid of plastic bags needn’t carry any drastic tags.
George St retailers have swung in behind Palmerston North lobby group Carrying Our Future to make their boutique shopping strip the first plastic bag free street in the country.
The group has produced 200 promotional cloth bags using a $500 grant from the Palmerston North Community Environmental Trust, and the street’s first plastic-bag-free Friday happened last week, offering encouragement to retailers and their customers to find alternatives to single-use plastic shopping bags.
Carrying Our Future’s Trisia Farrelly, a Massey University environmental anthropologist says the goal is modest.
The group is making a start by ridding the environment of plastic bags in one city street on one day a week.
It’s part of a broader campaign to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastic shopping bags in Palmerston North.
The first Friday culminated in an outdoor screening of awardwinning environmental documentary Bag It.
George St was chosen for plastic flag free Fridays because a good number of its retailers were already making the effort to offer alternatives.
Wildly Gifted retailer Jeanette Harris routinely uses branded eco-bags and paper bags.
She sells re-useable nylon shopping bags, and encourages customers to bring their own bags for their shopping.
‘‘People are not going to stop at the end of the street and think, this street’s plastic bag free,’’ Jeanette says, ‘‘but more and more of our customers are wanting to make a difference.’’