Sustainable cloth bag giveaway in Upper Hutt

A re-usable bag giveaway in Upper Hutt will encourage shoppers to use an alternative to regular plastic shopping bags in an effort to reduce quantities going to landfill.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 01 AUG 2016— Retailers and shoppers in Upper Hutt are being encouraged to say “No thanks” to plastic bags as Council embarks on a sustainability drive from the beginning of August.

Plastic Bag-Free New Zealand claims that New Zealanders use 1 billion plastic bags every year, and that over 40,000 plastic check-out bags are dumped in landfills across the country every hour.

The Sustainability and Business Development teams at Upper Hutt City Council have come up with a way to reduce plastic bag usage, promote Upper Hutt businesses, and showcase local talent at the same time. 12,000 re-usable cloth bags are being made available for free at local retailers from 1 August. Customers of selected retailers in the city will receive a free bag with their purchase, while stocks last.

Council has been creating opportunities for individuals to contribute to environmentally sustainable practices, including participation in the Love food hate waste campaign and a new rates-funded recycling station, which is soon to be installed at Park Street. The shopping bag initiative has been set up to encourage people to consider easy alternatives to waste and raise awareness of sustainability issues.

The Upper Hutt cloth bags feature two works of art by local Silverstream artist Pip McKay, showcasing Upper Hutt themes and promoting the ‘keep it green’ message. They are printed with environmentally-friendly inks on fair trade cotton.

“These bags are stunning,” says Council’s Sustainability Officer, Lisa Bridson. “We are hoping people will reuse them many times, reducing the use of plastic bags, and easing the burden on our landfill and environment.”

“This is about raising awareness—getting people to consider how a small change can make a big difference. All shoppers need to do to is make a purchase at a participating Upper Hutt store.”