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Plastic Bag Free Auckland

Susanna Stoddart and her GLFM bagThis article first appeared in the June edition of Ponsonby News 

Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away (GLWA) is an action group of Grey Lynn 2030 comprised of passionate locals tackling issues around waste minimisation and education, particularly in our area.   We have been called “Eco Ninjas” which is a pseudonym we feel perfectly reflects our mission to save the planet!

In May members of our group attended a Plastic Bag Free Auckland public meeting at the Grey Lynn Community Centre.  Denise Roche MP from the Green Party hosted the meeting, along with Steph Borrelle who is a marine biologist here in Auckland.  This gathering brought people together from across Auckland to discuss how we can join other progressive cities around the globe and become plastic bag free.   As Steph so eloquently put it, “Chaos has not ensued, people have coped and the world has gone on, just with less plastic bags.”

It was surprising to learn that the first country to enforce a strict ban was Bangladesh in 2002 after two thirds of the country was submerged in water from floods caused by plastic bags blocking waterways and sewerage systems.

Recently Steph initiated an on-line petition calling for Auckland to Ban the Bag.  GLWA supports this initiative and we urge everyone to take a moment to sign and share through social media.  The petition here “Mayor Len Brown Ban the Bag.” There is also a petition at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market.

Building on the Grey Lynn Farmers Market move towards zero waste to landfill, the GLWA is keen to get involved with helping the West Lynn shopping precinct go plastic bag free this “Plastic Free July.”  During this month we encourage everyone to refuse single-use and take the pledge to:  remember your own shopping bags, reusable coffee cups and reusable drink bottles. 

Mark Thursday, 31st July in your diary.  For the last day of Plastic Free July GLWA would like all shops in our area to provide an alternative for customers to plastic shopping bags.  This is your opportunity to embrace the concept of a Plastic Shopping Bag Free Auckland and feel good knowing you haven’t used an item that will take 1000 years to degrade.

You can find GLWA at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market every week (except the last Sunday of the month) to offer advice and provide answers to environmental questions.  We also have a range of items for sale including bokashi buckets, string bags and ideal cups. To learn more check out www.greylynn2030.co.nz  and Facebook “Grey Lynn Waste Away.”  Our meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Grey Lynn RSC.   We welcome new members to get involved with our action group working together towards a greener, more resilient neighbourhood.

Lisa Cohen-Smith

Susanna Stoddart and her GLFM bag