Reusable cloth bag giveaway in Upper Hutt back by popular demand

The Upper Hutt community is being encouraged to “refuse plastic and reuse the bag” this August by avoiding single-use plastic bags and choosing more sustainable alternatives.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 13 JUL 2017—A reusable bag giveaway in Upper Hutt during August will encourage shoppers and retailers to use an alternative to regular plastic shopping bags in an effort to reduce waste going to landfill. The Upper Hutt City Council cloth bag has been so popular with the community that council has reproduced it for a second year.

“More people are becoming aware of the long-term environmental impact of single-use plastics, and they are looking for alternatives,” says Council’s Sustainability Officer, Sarah Cole.

As part of Council’s sustainability programme, the reusable cloth bags are available for free from Council Reception, H2O Xtream aquatic centre, Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre, and Upper Hutt Central and Pinehaven Libraries from 1 August. Selected retailers in the city will also provide a free bag with purchases, while stocks last.

“The Upper Hutt cloth bags are really popular with the community,” says Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy. “This is one easy step we can all take to make a change for good.”

Mayors from around the country signed a letter in June, calling on central government to put a levy on single use plastic bags, or give local authorities the power to do so.

Every week during August there will be spot prizes for people who post a picture of themselves on Upper Hutt City Council’s Facebook page using a reusable bag. Community group ‘Boomerang Bags’ will run a workshop for people who want to upcycle textiles otherwise destined for landfill.

The Upper Hutt cloth bags feature two works of art by local Silverstream artist Pip McKay, showcasing Upper Hutt themes. The 2017 artwork is printed in blue, with a ‘Love our river’ theme to highlight the impact of plastics entering our waterways. They are printed with environmentally-friendly inks, on fair trade cotton.