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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Going Plastic Bag Free - Not So Easy

'Growing your own food is like printing your own money'
                                                                              Ron Finley

Welcome! If you have been following my blog recently you will know that one of my little projects is to have our local Growers Market go plastic bag free. 
This is not as easy as you might think, and our little group is still fronting up every Saturday morning and giving out reusable bags (for a donation). We haven't been able to sew enough (we have been giving out up to seventy each week), so have resorted to buying the reusable ones from various businesses and supermarkets.
We are making progress, but it is slow. The reaction from the public is greatly supportive.
For plastic free July we gave it an extra push - giving away some of the product bags that I have been making, along with a sheet of recipes for making your own personal care items and some food items to reduce packaging waste. We gave them to people as they left the market as a reward if they had no carry bags, after advertising this as they walked in. Some people declined the reward - which I totally understand.

The produce bag. I had to add an avocado to give perspective on that giant broccoli

 As well, we have been giving out soap kindly donated by Ecostore. 
Next month we will have vouchers from Palmers Garden Centre Whangarei for free coffees.

I am delighted with the support that we've had from the local community and businesses. Several curtain shops have given us fabulous off cuts to make our bags. Countdown Regent Supermarket have donated 70 bags, plus they and The Warehouse have been giving us bags at cost price.

Does anyone have a local market that is plastic bag free? If so what do the plant growers use to put their plants in if it's not a plastic bag? How do the fruit and veg sellers operate - do they weigh your produce as you choose it, or do they have containers already weighed out ready to put into your own bags?


  1. Hear! Hear! (That's me applauding your efforts.) Plant sellers here avoid plastic by recycling cutoff cardboard boxes of different sizes to make a sort of tray or doing the same with s paper bag. Plants don't get squished and damaged like they do in a plastic bag when you carry them.
    Few farmers market venders weigh produce here, they sell it by the piece or container.

    1. Thanks Cynthia - our sellers seem to have blinkers on and don't want to see that there is a better way.

  2. Hey Anne here's something that is actually effective . Lobbying your MP or even Winston would be more effective also shaming stall holders by doing a display at the Market of the Pacific plastic "soup"
    Tax works at eliminating plastic bags also taxing the supermarkets ( as the Clark government did also works)

    1. That is a good reminder Shona. I haven't lobbied on this issue, perhaps because I have always felt politely fobbed off whenever I have written to my MP. But I see that the Green Party had a meeting in Whangarei last year with interested parties on that very subject, time to check them out I think. And fabulous results around the world from plastic bag taxes - there's evidence.


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