Pukekawa farewells plastic bags

The Pukekawa community are doing their bit for the environment, and on Friday 24 November, starting ‘Over The River’ plastic bag free.
The cloth bags, were designed and created by members of the community and were officially launched at Pukekawa General Store, with owners Ash and Vic Charan supporting the move.
Penny Twiss said they saw similar initiatives in New Zealand and overseas and a group felt they too could do something to reduce reliance on single use plastic bags.
The group invited everyone to come out, not only those who could sew, but people who could cut, pin, iron and make tea.
“This has resulted in us all meeting new people and we have been so gratified by the response. People came when they could, some brought fabric, some brought cake, some took the makings away and sewed bags at home. We have met at the Pukekawa Hall every couple of weeks or so and plan to meet monthly next year now that we have launched the bags,” she said.
Vicki Kemp researched bag designs and they settled on a pattern that makes a strong and durable tote bag.
Penny said they sourced the fabric from their own private stashes.
“People have been very generous, and we have had heaps of donations from fabric hoarders. We have also used old curtains which gives us credibility in the recycling department as well,” she said.
So far there has been an enthusiastic response, and the team have already started dreaming up the next project.
“Next year we plan to go into vegetable bag production, using net curtains for fruit and veg. Vicki has made some prototypes which we think will work really well,” Penny said.
The bags are sold for $5 from Pukekawa General Store, and at the Onewhero Markets.
“We envisage ‘Over The River’ bags becoming a way of life for users, we are all getting into the swing of remembering to take them into the shop with us. That is the challenge!” said Penny.
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