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Community house ditches plastic bags used for vege collections

Anthony Rawiri and Natasha Ross

Every little helps when it comes to reducing our use of plastic.

And Ngaruawahia Community House is doing its bit to cut down on the number of single-use plastic bags in the community.

A few weeks ago manager Anne Ramsey decided to change the way they distribute their weekly stock of fruit and vegetables to the community in Ngaruawahia.

In the past plastic shopping bags have been used by people to pick up their fruit and veges, which are donated by Turners and Growers and arrive in crates each week.

But now that’s a no-go area. It’s either reusable shopping bags or they carry them out to their car in their arms.

Anne says she only uses reusable bags when she does her shopping and she says people have got to start somewhere when it comes to reducing the use of plastic in our society.

“I’ve always been opposed to plastic bags so it’s only natural I should encourage others to use less plastic,” she says.

“There’s been a great uptake from our recipients. They bring their own reusable bags in and we also have some from New World and the like to give out to them.”

Waikato District Council Waste Minimisation Officer Pat Cronin says community initiatives such as Anne’s are an integral part minimising and managing waste.

“I commend Anne’s actions at the Community House and there are many other people in our communities in the Waikato District who are doing their bit during Plastic Free July to reduce their use of plastic,” she says.

“While reuse, recycling and recovery are important aspects of waste minimisation, reduction is at the top of the waste hierarchy and this is a perfect example of waste reduction in action.”

Despite Plastic Free July being almost over for another year, Anne plans to continue her “banning” of single-use of plastic bags for her fruit and vegetable pick-ups.

“It’s a no-brainer to keep this up. We’ve all got to play our part in reducing our use of plastic.”