Friday, 23 October 2009

FEATURE: Counting down to a new world free of plastic

Counting down to a new world free of plastic

by Nancy Higgins

I admit it: I forgot my 'no plastic' bags the otherday while food
shopping. Our Waikouaiti Coast-wide 'no plastic, November' doesn't
begin until a couple of weeks, so I thought to myself: "Oh well,
Nancy, just buy some plastic bags. After all, the money is going to
towards the environment, and then you will have some to recycle at the
'no plastic November campaign opening."

"Sorry," said the checkout girl, "You can't buy them anymore. We have
to give them to you for free." I was dismayed. Here I was with my
wallet open, and they were refusing my money, and insisting that I
must take the bags for free. But I like the idea of paying for them. I
feel I should pay in some way to make up for the damage that the bags
may do in the future (there is a quiz in this 'Blueskin News' to find
out what damage can be done).

The checkout girl agreed and said that all of her customers were happy
to pay for them. The 'bagging girl' joined in. She couldn't understand
either why they were now free. They both said they didn't know who had
made the decision at New World to stop charging. If they were asked,
they would have said that Dunedinites understand. They are way ahead
of the game, and intelligent. After all, this is a University town.

Well, we here in Blueskin Bay must be geniuses then, because our 'No
plastic November' is going ahead. We won't renege. We are going to
encourage everyone to have a whole month of 'no plastic' bags. The
schools have just about completed their decorations on the eco-bags
that they will be selling as a fundraiser. The Gallery on Blueskin is
accepting 'no plastic' bag art for the campaign opening on November 1.
And, the recyclers are gearing up to take all of the plastic bags that
we can give them on plastic bag amnesty day, which is, of course, on
November 1. Blueskin Bay and the Waikaoaiti Coast are stepping up,
while New World steps back.

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