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Plastic Free Mangawhai gains momentum



13 MF-PFMJuly copy-909With the nationwide ban on plastic bags making its official debut on the first day of Plastic free July, Mangawhai’s own plastic watchdog group marked the two year anniversary of their cause which sparked the community’s eco-creative spirit.

Since July 2017, Plastic Free Mangawhai (PFM) have inspired and led the areas community, schools and businesses to move away from single-use plastic items such as bags, straws and coffee-to-go cups, and encouraged more sustainable, environmental friendly items such as reusable shopping bags and keep-cups. 

Mangawhai appears to have embraced the philosophy, introducing a range of initiatives including recycling t-shirts into shopping bags, setting up collection points for bread tags, toothpaste tubes and brushes, with eateries encouraging customers to bring their own takeaway cups and food containers, and restaurants and bars banning plastic straws. 

To keep the momentum going, PFM have organised two events – a ‘Bring it to win it’ competition and a chance for women to recycle unwanted clothes and exchange for a fresh look, with a ‘Swap Till You Drop’ evening.

PFM member Stephanie Gibson says she has noticed a lot of people carrying their own shopping bags around the area and the competition in particular is to further foster the ‘take your own’ ideology. 

“We are on a mission for our cafes to no longer need disposable cups and bringing your own container will be the norm,” she says. “Every time you take your own cup or container into shops and cafes you can enter our competition to win some awesome prizes throughout the month. Either enter in the participating shop/cafe or #bringittowinit with a photo of you and your BYOC… we are hoping to get a lot of photos of people with their own cup or container around town.”

For Mangawhai women who feel the need of a wardrobe clear-out and refill, PFM are offering a Ladies Clothes Swap Night along with wine and nibbles, to be held at the Mangawhai Tavern on July 28. The event has a three-fold benefit Gibson says. 
“You can help the environment, support Womens Refuge and get a fresh new wardrobe!” she says. “A lot of clothing is ending up in landfills throughout New Zealand. By coming to the swap you can get a fresh closet without spending much money, prevent more waste by getting ‘new to you’ clothes instead of buying more, and all leftover items will go to charity.”

Pre-loved work, evening, casual and active wear, jewellery, purses, scarves, belts and shoes can be dropped at either Fit365 Mangawhai Heads or Mangawhai Physiotherapy on Insley Street. 

“Please make sure they are clean and in good condition though. A good rule of thumb is ‘items in a condition that you’d lend to your friend’.

 For more eco-ideas, information and details on either the ‘Bring it to win it’ competition or ‘Swap Till You Drop’ night, visit Mangawhai Plastic Free and Mangawhai Zero Waste Community Network facebook pages. 

A large colourful sign on the corner of Wood Street and Molesworth Drive highlights Mangawhai’s enduring stance on the war against single-use plastic.  

“We are on a mission for our cafes to no longer need disposable cups and bringing your own container will be the norm.”

The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

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