|Whangarei Growers Market Photo courtesy of nz farmers markets.co.nz|
We set up with signs at both ends of the market explaining our aim, alongside which we gave away reusable shopping bags. The bags were a combination of recycled, handmade and new ones, donated by the local council, with "Whangarei, Love It Here" printed on them.
The market was thronging with people. We were curious to know what the response to us would be.
|Whangarei Growers Market photo courtesy of farmers weekly.co.nz|
I was heartened to notice that probably 70%+ of people brought their own bags anyway. Remaining people were mostly pleased to be offered a bag. We did ask for a koha (donation), or that people return the bags next time when they have their own. We received a few donations, which are being used to fund more bags.
We ran out of bags far too quickly, so this week I have been trying to source more and make more.
To speed up the construction process, I decided webbing handles were the way to go, so have been buying webbing belts from the charity shops to cut up.
|Bags made with the donated material from the curtain shop|
Two things we noticed were that people still ended up with plastic bags - even though they had a market bag, due to stallholders automatically putting items into bags before handing them over, and people buying more than their one bag could hold.
We have work to do, changing peoples' habits. It will be interesting to see how well we fare. We plan to do this every week for several months yet before we can hopefully ask stall holders to stop using plastic bags altogether.