United in their quest for a zero-waste world

COMBINED FORCES: Three community groups are collaborating towards a zero waste Tairawhiti. From left, Nicky Solomon of Plastic Bag Free Tairawhiti, Pania Ruakere of Para Kore and Tuta Ngarimu of Ka Pai Kaiti joined forces for a 24-hour Bagathon at Kaiti Mall in a bid to reduce single-use plastic bags. Picture by Shaan Te Kani

Ka Pai Kaiti is working towards zero waste in collaboration with waste-reducing groups Para Kore and Plastic Bag Free Tairawhiti.

One of the first steps is the 24-hour Bagathon, which started yesterday at Kaiti Mall and involves Gisborne whanau coming together to sew shopping bags in an effort to eliminate plastics in their communities.

The bagathon is an initiative of Plastic Bag Free Tairawhiti, which is also promoting the Plastic Free July worldwide campaign.

Para Kore is a national programme that supports marae and community groups by educating them about how to reduce waste by reusing, recycling and composting, and avoiding products such as single-use plastics.

Ka Pai Kaiti general manager Tuta Ngarimu says the Bagathon fits in well with their community vision of sustainable living and zero waste.

“We want to normalise it. It’s all about our future and our environment,” he said. “Initiatives like the Bagathon and Para Kore will contribute to the eventual phasing out of single-use plastic bags so that the region can become free of plastic bags.”

Pania Ruakere, Para Kore’s kaiarahi (mentor) for Turanganui a Kiwa, agreed.

“We are stoked to have a leading community organisation such as Ka Pai Kaiti on board as a champion for zero waste.”

The Bagathon also has a Para Kore focus with participants asked to minimise waste by sorting rubbish in the right bin for recycling.

The collaborative approach “just makes sense”, says Plastic Bag Free Tairawhiti founder Nicky Solomon.

“One of the things that I love is how this brings the community together because it is a community vision, a shared vision.

“We all know that we are facing a huge challenge across the world.

“Plastic pollution is affecting our beaches, our rivers and our communities. Often a bag is only used for a few minutes but will take hundreds of years to break down.”

Ka Pai Kaiti is working towards zero waste in collaboration with waste-reducing groups Para Kore and Plastic Bag Free Tairawhiti.

One of the first steps is the 24-hour Bagathon, which started yesterday at Kaiti Mall and involves Gisborne whanau coming together to sew shopping bags in an effort to eliminate plastics in their communities.

The bagathon is an initiative of Plastic Bag Free Tairawhiti, which is also promoting the Plastic Free July worldwide campaign.

Para Kore is a national programme that supports marae and community groups by educating them about how to reduce waste by reusing, recycling and composting, and avoiding products such as single-use plastics.

Ka Pai Kaiti general manager Tuta Ngarimu says the Bagathon fits in well with their community vision of sustainable living and zero waste.

“We want to normalise it. It’s all about our future and our environment,” he said. “Initiatives like the Bagathon and Para Kore will contribute to the eventual phasing out of single-use plastic bags so that the region can become free of plastic bags.”

Pania Ruakere, Para Kore’s kaiarahi (mentor) for Turanganui a Kiwa, agreed.

“We are stoked to have a leading community organisation such as Ka Pai Kaiti on board as a champion for zero waste.”

The Bagathon also has a Para Kore focus with participants asked to minimise waste by sorting rubbish in the right bin for recycling.

The collaborative approach “just makes sense”, says Plastic Bag Free Tairawhiti founder Nicky Solomon.

“One of the things that I love is how this brings the community together because it is a community vision, a shared vision.

“We all know that we are facing a huge challenge across the world.

“Plastic pollution is affecting our beaches, our rivers and our communities. Often a bag is only used for a few minutes but will take hundreds of years to break down.”

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