Plastic Bag



Plastic shopping, bread bags and bin liners do not biodegrade in landfill and - when left to pollute the environment and waterways - can endanger wildlife. 

In 2017 local group Plastic Free Whanganui counted nearly 2000 bags exiting the five main supermarkets in just one hour. The majority of these will have been used for just 12 minutes prior to being disposed of. 


Refuse plastic bags of all descriptions.

Reusable shopping bags are available at local supermarkets and some charity/secondhand shops. There are clothbag boxes at Trafalgar Square and outside the Whanganui Environment Base at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, where you can take one or leave one if you have a surplus of bags. 

Kiwis have made an "extraordinary effort" since plastic shopping bags were phased out in 1 July 2019 - this 1News article has the numbers. 


Reduce plastic bag use by always carrying a reusable cloth bag for shopping. Always keep spares in your car, gym bag, handbag. 

Buy net/mesh bags for veges/fresh produce.

Use a box to pack your shopping in where available, then recycle the cardboard.

Bread bag use can be reduced by baking your own bread or buying fresh from the Whanganui River Markets.

Do not use single-use plastic bags as bin liners as they do not biodegrade. Line your bin with newspaper, or buy properly biodegradable bin liners.


Keep reusing the plastic bags you have; they can be washed, dried and used many times.

  • Use again for groceries
  • Carry sports gear, footwear, swimwear
  • Bread bags are good for carrying your lunch
  • Put meal leftovers in to freeze 
  • Bike seat cover on rainy days

Make your own cloth bags out of old pillow-cases, sheets, t-shirts and other textiles.


There is no recycling currently available for plastic bags.

However there is some brightness of the future indicated by this Future Post initiative.


Keep plastic bags and bin liners out of landfill where possible.