Plastic Free July – what will you be doing?

Plastic Free July is nearly here again already!

If you’ve not come across it before head over to and their Facebook page. Basically it is a campaign aimed at reducing the amount of plastic we use, focusing on single use disposable plastic items like the ‘big four’: bags, water bottles, straws and takeaway coffee cups. You can sign up yourself, work place, family etc for anything from a day to the whole month to commit to aiming to do without the big four, or for as much plastic as you wish to take on. Believe me it is a real eye opener, and once you start to notice the amount of disposable plastic in your life you can’t un-see it! Sure we need to be reducing our plastic consumption the whole year round, not just in July, but as with Movember it helps to have a campaign focus month.

Last year we had the Bottle Buy-Back funded by Te Hiku Community Board, but as the Kiwi Bottle Drive launched here in Kaitaia just a few weeks ago we’re going for a slightly different angle this year. In addition to the EcoCentre promoting and selling cloth shopping bags, produce bags and beeswax wraps (to use instead of gladwrap etc) we’re encouraging local businesses to promote what they already do to help both you and them to avoid plastic.

Whānau Meats are offering to put those who bring their own containers in during July for their meat to go in a draw on 1st August for a $25 meat voucher, a polo shirt and one of their canvas shopping bags ($100 total value).

Bell’s deli & butcher counter will fill your own containers, and you can use your own cloth or re-used plastic bags in the fruit & veg section

It’s Healthy and The Bush Fairy Dairy are happy for you to use your own containers and bags for bulk bin products

Cavalier’s and Empire Mart sell non-plastic disposable plates and cutlery

Farmers and The Warehouse sell reusable coffee cups

Most cafes in town will fill your own re-useable coffee cup, and with tea or hot chocolate too if you’re not a coffee addict!

It’s Healthy and CBEC sell bamboo toothbrushes

It’s Healthy also have Mooncups – a zero waste and money saving option for those menstruating

The Sushi shop is happy for you to fill your own container with sushi and reuseable cup for miso soup

We’re hoping to add to this list and get posters up around town. If you want to help get the message out and about and meet up with others paddling the same waka come along to the EcoCentre on Friday 30th June (last minute we know!) at 2pm or email us on if you can’t make it but still want to be involved.

We’re also planning a market stall or two through the month to raise awareness of the campaign and issues involved, and a ‘plastic free shared lunch’ at the end of the month for people to share their experiences through the month and the challenges they faced trying to keep to their plastic free kaupapa.



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AUTHOR: Eco Centre
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