Our mission is to create a “Plastic Shopping Bag Free” Whaingaroa-Raglan by July 2017. We aim to do this by encouraging Whaingaroa residents, business owners and visitors to be more conscientious of their environmental impact by supporting reusable shopping bags within our community.
Plastic Bag Free Raglan is supported in part by the Raglan Chamber of Commerce, Xtreme Zero Waste, Waikato Regional Council and Whaingaroa Environmental Centre.
Why do we want to go Plastic Bag Free?
- We want to strengthen Raglan’s reputation in the NZ market as an environmentally conscious town to live in and visit.
- Plastic is widely recognised as a key source of environmental pollution. Plastic is a dangerous problem for the planet, and our oceans in particular.
- Raglan-Whaingaroa is uniquely placed to progress this initiative to create a sustainable working model for the rest of Aotearoa to replicate.
Why are Plastic Bags a problem?
- Over 1.6 billion plastic bags are used each year in NZ and the lightweight properties of plastic bags allow it to easy escape from rubbish bins or landfills to move around the environment causing a variety of problems.
- Plastic bags are the second-most common type of ocean refuse, after cigarette butts and there is now six times more plastic debris in parts of the North Pacific Ocean than zooplankton.
- Plastic does not bio-degrade, instead it photo-degrades into smaller and smaller particles, polluting waterways and oceans, killing marine animals and entering our food chains.
- “Evidence of microplastic ingestion by marine zooplankton indicates that species at lower tropic levels of the marine food web are mistaking plastic for food”.
- “On average 29% of individual seabirds had plastic in their gut, estimated to be around 90% if measured today, and predicted to increase to 99% by 2050”
- 70% of the plastic in the ocean finds its way to the ocean floor, where it will likely never degrade
- Plastic bags remain toxic after breaking down, which can take up to 1,000 years. So even when an animal dies and decays after ingesting a bag, the plastic re-enters the environment, posing a continuing threat to wildlife.
- Even plastic bags that are reused as bin bags end up in municipal waste streams and will never be recycled, filling our already limited landfill space.
 Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology – 12th June 2015 “Ingestion of Microplastics by Zooplankton in the Northeast Pacific Ocean”
 Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA “Chris Wilcox, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1502108112”
What can you do?
We need you to make this work! Be the example to your community.
- Get some reusable carry bags, keep them in your boot, fold one up in your handbag
- Remember to take reusable bags every time you do your shopping.
- If you don’t need a bag, say no, thank you and carry on.
- Show your support and “LIKE” the Plastic Bag Free Raglan – Facebook Page.
Each reusable bag can eliminate hundreds of plastic bags. You can make a difference.