Thanks to a fantastic group of enthusiastic ‘do-ers’, a wonderful brand created by Morley Design Group, and a positive and enabling response from the GDC and a range of local businesses, the ‘Flag the Bag’ campaign has gained a satisfying degree of momentum.
The issue of plastic pollution, particularly in the world’s oceans and in our food chain, is becoming more well-understood. Single-use plastic bags are symbolic of the heart of the issue – the pollution, contamination and irreversible damage stemming from the use and disposal of something that we can easily do without.
Our group also views the ‘Flag the Bag’ campaign as a change to put Te Tairāwhiti on the map for something positive, and to show the rest of the country some of the great things that happen here.
With funding received from the GDC-administered Waste Minimisation Fund we are working on three key projects:
- Procuring more ‘Flag the Bag’ branded jute reuasable bags – due to arrive in June and will be used to continue to raise awareness
- Billboards and banners – We will shortly be displaying our message on the Business Applications Digital Billboard and on the billboard by Raglan Roast. We have procured banners which will go up around town too, and we are working on plans for two large billboards at entry points to the city.
- School pilot re-usable bag fundraiser – This project is based on one carried out in Marlborough, whereby the council provided reusable bags to schools to sell as a fundraiser. GDC is supportive of this idea, and so we are collaborating to pilot this at Wainui Beach School, once our new shipment of bags arrives. This will allow GDC to get a feel for how many bags they would need in order to carry out this project throughout the city/region.
Our other major initiatives for 2017 are:
- Seeking support from the GDC for Denise Roche’s bill to Parliament aiming to enable local and regional authorities to introduce a levy on plastic bags. The PBFT team met with Denise Roche recently and plan to present this idea to the GDC Future Tairawhiti meeting in early June.
- Awareness-raising during Plastic Free July
- Creating a reusable bag ‘library’
- Collaborating with Ka Pai Kaiti on a social enterprise based on creating unique Tairāwhiti resuable bags, and selling these both locally and nationally
We are really keen to talk to businesses and other organisations with regard to collaborations and sponsorships and other opportunities.