OHOPE woman Julie Lambert is hoping three Eastern Bay towns will be plastic-bag free by next year.
“I want Whakatane, Kawerau and Opotiki to stop using plastic bags by January 1,” she said.
Ms Lambert said there were plant-based products that could replace the plastic mess people had got themselves into and she has teamed up with Friendlypak founding director Kevin Graham to provide an alternative.
“Kevin Graham has developed these plant-based shopping bags that are available now,” she said.
“They also have a much nicer texture.”
Mr Graham is a former plastics moulding engineer who has a career that helped develop disposable packaging until he reached a point in his life where he became concerned with the damage and cost this packaging was causing the environment.
The Auckland-based inventor developed alternatives to disposable packaging products, coming up with materials that he said did not last forever, did not pollute, or depend on oil and did not waste non-renewable resources.
After realising there were plenty of biodegradable alternatives to plastics, he founded Friendlypak.
Ms Lambert said Mr Graham was also developing a plant-based packing material, but it was not yet for sale.
She has become a co-ordinator for the plant-based plastic bags in the Bay of Plenty and can help any businesses or families or individuals wanting to convert. She can be contacted at 0273 310001.
The BioBag – guaranteed not to last
THE BioBag shopping bag is “guaranteed not to last”.
Product information is printed on each bag, in an earthy green colour, and it states that the bag is reusable, but comes with a “best before date”.
“Being made with plant materials this bag will not last,” it states.
The bag was manufactured from Mater-Bi, a bioplastic that uses vegetable components such as starch, cellulose, and vegetable oils as well as biodegradable polymers and natural plasticisers.
The product information goes on to say that “all crops are cultivated using sustainable farming practices”.
“This BioBag is certified to biodegrade in home and commercial composts.”