Small people can bring about big change.
And the work done by St Patrick’s schoolkids is a testimony to that.
About 80 Year 3 and 4 pupils have been busy “saving the environment” by making ‘boomerang bags’ for Masterton shoppers.
The concept of ‘boomerang bags’ is to reduce the use of plastic bags by creating a sustainable alternative from recycled materials.
The schoolkids have distributed about 50 of these to Masterton New World and PAK’nSAVE to give to customers on a “borrow and bring back” basis.
Connor Kube, 8, volunteered as the spokesperson for his syndicate, and approached the two stores to pitch the concept.
“At first, I felt a bit nervous, but then I started phoning and talking to them and then I didn’t feel that nervous,” he said.
“We’ve been doing a unit called ‘Into the Future’, and have been thinking about how in the future there will be lots of plastic rubbish.
“So, we made these boomerang bags to reduce the number of plastic bags being used on the planet.”
Lucas Stoneley, 9, said when people shopped at the stores they could ask for one of their bags “and then when they get home, they put all their shopping into their cupboards and freezers and then they bring it back”.
Masterton New World store manager Ivan Birch said he felt inspired by the kids’ initiative.
“It’s good to see them come in, show their initiative, and take it upon themselves to think of the next generation.
“As a business, we need to be supporting them.”
Mr Birch said reusable bags had been trending lately at his store following a nationwide plastic-free initiative in July.
“We’re just looking at little ways we can do our bit.
“Charging for supermarket bags is a little hard at the moment, but this is something little we can do for the environment and for our region.”
St Patrick’s school teacher Alyson Potter said as part of their studies for the term, the kids had been shown video clips of what the planet might look like in the future based on today’s level of wastefulness.
“They were quite horrified at the amount of rubbish, and so when we heard about boomerang bags, the kids were really keen to give it a go for Masterton because they hadn’t seen them here.
“We’re lucky that New World and PAK’nSAVE were really supportive of us.”
She said the kids had designed the logos on the bags, transferred them onto the fabric, and were now fundraising to cover the costs.
“There’s a very entrepreneurial group at school making loom band jewellery and selling them at school, and we are also having a cupcake competition on September 7 to help raise money.”