Plastic Free July initiative in Clutha district

Clutha Change Collective member Denise Dent gets ready for environmentally-friendly initiative plastic-free July.
Mary-Jo Tohill

Clutha Change Collective member Denise Dent gets ready for environmentally-friendly initiative plastic-free July.

Clutha district libraries have got July all stitched up.  

June 28 will be the launch of plastic-free July, when the district's libraries, in association with The Clutha Change Collective, will open their doors to people who want to make cloth shopping bags for personal use, or to give away.

Local libraries are the collecting point for the Koha Bag Project, including for donated fabric.

The Clutha District Council's waste minimisation team, Balclutha New World and Dunedin Curtain Bank are also supporting plastic-free July.

Motueka's reducing plastic with re-usable Boomerang Bags 
Queenstown's Boomerang Bags movement to get community sewing
Rangiora woman passionate about reducing plastic

In preparation, Clutha libraries are holding sew-ins on June 28. Libraries will supply a simple bag pattern.

It will be the first time such an initiative has been promoted in the district, and reducing the amount of plastic we use, including shopping bags, is a cause dear to Clutha Change Collective member Denise Dent.

"Every piece of plastic made still exists," she said.

"Plastic never disappears. It just gets smaller."

She said the project drew attention to the great Pacific garbage patch, a soupy collection of marine debris, mostly plastics, in the central North Pacific Ocean.

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Also described as the Pacific trash vortex, it was discovered between 1985 and 1988, where rubbish gets trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.

It covers an indeterminate area and is believed to be a threat to marine animals who ingest the plastic.

"Once you know this, you can't ignore," she said.

It would also challenge people through July to not buy or throw away plastic.

"Plastic has snuck its way into society - it's incredibly hard to avoid. Everything's triple and double plastic.

"The use [of plastics] won't change until our habits do."    

She said it would be a good community exercise to get people thinking, socialising and having fun.

The scheme follows the sustainability ethos of Australia's Boomerang Bags, a grassroots, community-driven movement tackling waste and pollution.

Sew-in times:

Balclutha and Lawrence libraries 9am-5pm, Owaka 10am-4pm and Milton and Tapanui 11am-3pm.

For more information, contact the council's waste minimisation officer Steve Clarke, or call into your library. or 03 419 0293 or 0800 801 350







 - Stuff

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