Plas­tic bag free Fri­days launch on Ge­orge

The Tribune (NZ) - - SPORT -

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.’’

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