In an effort to further share the mission of Plastic Bag Free Raglan - Pēke Kirihou Kore Whaingaroa, PBFR has taken their message to the streets, literally.
Plastic Bag Free Raglan (PBFR) has replaced the old Bow Street Motors sign, just off of Bow Street in Raglan's CBD.
The original idea for the sign was brought to the PBFR team by Tim Duff on behalf of Raglan Naturally. Tim and his partner Suz own Raglan Backpackers and are major supporters of the plastic bag free movement. They have been sharing the message of PBFR with their guests over the past year.
Through the goodwill of the new residents of the building, Raglan Coconut Yoghurt, and with the blessing of building space from their kind landlord, PBFR now has a visible presence on Raglan's main street.
The background image of the sign was given as a koha from Jwan Milek of Raglan Photo Gallery, who provided a beautiful shot of an orca inside the Raglan Harbour. The photo highlights one of the main reasons the PBFR team is pushing for the Raglan community to become plastic bag free—as the orca occasionally feed in the harbour and run the risk consuming any floating debris that has blown into the water.
If you walk down to the end of Bow Street, you end up at the water's edge. The close proximity of the businesses gives loose rubbish, such as plastic bags, a direct line out to sea. Encouraging the use of reusable bags in Raglan's shops will help to lower the number of bags that end up in the water and other areas of the environment.
At the moment, Kiwi's use 1.6 billion single-use plastic bags per year. Although Raglan is a small community, with the assistance of the visitor surge during the summer, Raglan contributes almost a million bags to that number each year.
"Industry-led recycling schemes have failed to stem the tide of plastic bags entering landfill. Recent figures show the Soft Plastic Packaging Recycling Scheme collected only two per cent of the 1.6 billion plastic bags coming into the country every year." (1)
A number of 'plastic bag free' groups and movements have been popping up around the country, all working towards the same goal – creating a plastic bag free community. Plastic Bag Free Raglan would like to see their own community and local shops become single-use plastic bag free as part of their stewardship for our beautiful, wild spaces.
PBFR received funding for the sign from Meridian's Power Up fund, which supports local projects in the communities near Meridian's wind farms and hydro stations. The sign was designed by the PBFR team, and printed and hung by DSigns of Raglan.
Plastic Bag Free Raglan - Pēke Kirihou Kore Whaingaroa is a community movement, ignited by the Whaingaroa Environment Centre, Raglan Chamber of Commerce, Xtreme Zero Waste, Raglan Community Board and Para Kore.
(1) Ged Cann (2017). Nearly half the country's mayors join call for compulsory charge on plastic bags. Stuff. http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/94015572/nearly-half-the-countrys-mayors-join-call-for-compulsory-charge-on-plastic-bags