The Plastic Bag Free Raglan team has been struggling to keep a big secret over the last few months, but we are excited to announce that…

Starting today, Raglan households will be receiving one, free reusable jute shopping bag, as part of our efforts in shifting our community into a ‘single-use shopping bag free town’.

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After multiple surveys conducted in May/June and July, we found that over 90% of our community supports using an alternative to those pesky, single-use plastic bags.

To make this shift easier, we received help from some of the amazing groups in our community to purchase and distribute these reusable bags for you to take shopping with you. Made from plant fibre and printed with vegetable ink, the jute bag is a strong, sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

We have watched as our community and PBFR volunteers continue to find plastic bags (along with heaps of other rubbish) blowing around our town, in the harbour and on our beaches.

So, this is just the first step to become a more, truly environmentally friendly town and a leader in ‘keeping New Zealand beautiful’.

Inside of the jute bag you will find a short note and a sample compostable bag. This compostable bag is one of the alternatives we are hoping retailers will shift into using. That way, if one of the compostable bags ends up somewhere other than the proper bin, it will actually break down within a few months time, and it won’t leave behind any toxic residue. Xtreme Zero Waste has gone the extra mile to set up a compostable bin and a new collection point specifically for these bags (read more about it in EnviroMatter’s in this week’s Chronicle).

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Please understand that there are a limited amount of these jute bags, and our volunteers will do their best to reach as many households as possible starting within town and moving outwards as time/weather allows. So be on the lookout and check your postbox!

If you would like to guarantee you get a bag, there are a limited amount available for purchase for $15 at The Herbal Dispensary, Matapihi Art Gallery. Raglan NZ, WOK – Whaingaroa Organic Kai and at the Whaingaroa Environment Centre on WEC Wednesday’s.

The PBFR team would like to give a big thank you and aroha to Xtreme Zero Waste, the Raglan Chamber of Commerce, Waikato District Council, Waikato Regional Council, Meridian Energy, Whaingaroa Environment Centre, Raglan Community Board, Raglan Lions Club and a few (amazing) anonymous donors, for their support in making all of this possible.

We’d also like to give a big thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who have spent hours and hours over the past few months helping PBFR get to this day.

For more on the reusable jute bag, pick up this week’s Chronicle. If you have further questions please email PBFR at info@plasticbagfreeraglan.nz.

Kia ora and thank you x

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