Plastic bags' demise a personal crusade

Caitlin's anti-plastic bag campaign

JACK MONTGOMERIE
Last updated 05:00 22/08/2014
Caitlin Sprunt
JOHN BISSET / Fairfax NZ

BAGS NOT: Caitlin Sprunt is campaigning to ban plastic bags in Timaru.

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What began as a polytechnic project has become a personal crusade for anti-plastic bag campaigner Caitlin Sprunt.

The Aoraki Polytechnic outdoor education student has been putting leaflets in letterboxes, surveying shoppers and writing to supermarkets to stop people using the bags she says are damaging oceans, rivers and the animals living in them.

Sprunt said students were required to complete an "environmental action" as part of their course. While others had focused on deep sea oil drilling and cleaning up the Temuka and Opihi Rivers, Sprunt set her sights on the six billion plastic bags used in Australasia annually.

"I just feel like it's a waste," Sprunt said.

She also claimed plastic bags killed about 100,000 marine animals annually.

Sprunt said many of the 70 people she had surveyed outside local supermarkets were receptive to using alternatives.

Most said a 10 cent charge for the bags would put them off using them. She had also received "some growing interest" in implementing a local ban.

Sprunt said she intended to conduct a larger survey and looked forward to receiving responses from local supermarkets on her proposal.

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- The Timaru Herald

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