When you hear the phrase ‘no more plastic shopping bags’, what’s the first thought that comes to mind?

That’s what the Raglan Chamber of Commerce, Xtreme Zero Waste and the Whaingaroa Enviroment Centre (WEC) want to know. 

These three local organisations have teame up to embark on a project to brand Whaingaroa-Raglan as a ‘Plastic Shopping Bag Free’ community. Plastic is a dangerous form of environmental pollution, and their aim is for our community to do our part in stemming the huge amount of plastic entering our oceans; which also strengthens our reputation as an environmentally conscious town to live in and visit.

The goal is to have 80% of the businesses in Whaingaroa-Raglan plastic bag free by 2017, and 100% of the businesses plastic bag free as soon as possible thereafter.

There is a sub-committee working diligently to collect feedback from businesses and the community, so that research can be done for viable, affordable solutions for everyone.

‘Raglan by the Sea’ is a familiar tune and phrase. But what does it mean to you to be ‘by the sea’?

By becoming a ‘plastic shopping bag free’ community, we have the opportunity to make a difference and to be an example for visitors near and far–taking conscious steps to do what we can to create a sustainable environment for everyone.

There will be a community survey available online via the Plastic Bag Free Raglan Facebook page from Friday 11 March, as well as hard copy surveys available at WEC. Surveys will also be available at the WEC Booth at Maui’s Dolphin Day this Saturday.

The sub-committee hopes to hear feedback from as many as possible over the coming weeks. Whaingaroa-Raglan residents can complete the survey here.

Stay up to date with the progress of this exciting community project via ‘Plastic Bag Free Raglan’ on Facebook, or email plasticbagfreeraglan@gmail.com. The Plastic Bag Free project is supported by Waikato Regional Council.

Karamea Puriri