No more plastic bags, boys hope

Last updated 05:30 24/06/2014
Ahmad Qasimi

GREEN BUSINESS: Young Enterprise participant Ahmad Qasimi hopes to see a plastic bag-free city.

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Six young high school boys are dreaming of a Christchurch free from plastic shopping bags and known for its recycling policies. 

The Linwood College Young Enterprise group is brokering deals for compostable and biodegradable plastic bag and takeaway container replacements. 

Ahmad Qasimi, Samuel Zobeley, Charlie Kavanagh, Jos van Olst, Joseph Gardner and Niall Fanning are hoping their business scheme will not only keep Christchurch green but will turn a profit. 

The Young Enterprise scheme runs every year, encouraging high school students to come up with, and execute, unique business ideas. 

The Linwood College group, Eco-Resolutions, has partnered with an Auckland importer supplying eco-friendly plastic replacement products.

They are running the business as a distribution arm of the company, brokering deals between local businesses and the supplier. 

Thinking big, they hope to have a deal with a supermarket. 

''Our goal is to get rid of plastic bags in Christchurch, totally,'' Samuel says. ''We saw a gap in the market and we're eco-focused.'' 

The plastic bag replacements are made from cornstarch, and compost in just six weeks. 

Eco-Resolutions hopes to have them as a supermarket shopping bag option, where the consumer pays a little more for a greener product. 

Cities such as Chicago have voted for a plastic bag-free city and the boys hope Christchurch could head the same way.

Ahmad says they hope to get the compostable bags included in the list of acceptable products to be disposed of in the Christchurch City council's green bins. 

For the boys, it is an opportunity to contribute constructively to the community, as well as building a business. 

Eco-Resolutions is selling takeaway containers, coffee cups, cling film and utensils alongside its bags, made from products such as sugarcane and paper. 

Eco-Resolutions is just one team participating in the year-long enterprise challenge.

Students at Rangi Ruru Girls' School are selling bracelets to raise awareness of meningitis and the ideas range from t-shirts to disposable goods. 

The team recently presented to a Dragon's Den-style panel of judges and must complete tasks and challenges throughout the year to see their project through. 

Samuel says the group hopes to keep the business running after the end of the school year.

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- The Press


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