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Kia Ora Whanau,

The build-up to this Christmas has been a difficult one. With all that is going on in the world, the light-hearted, frivolous spendthrift in me has all but disappeared, replaced by a more sombre mood. I trawled through St Lukes shopping mall searching for presents for my 5 year old last weekend, the endless plastic doll faces peered back at me from behind plastic packaging, their plastic nylon hair swept up in their plastic hair ties by their tiny plastic hairbrush accessories...and all I could think was, "a bird of the ocean could easily mistake that tiny, shiny, sparkly plastic tidbit for a tasty morsel". And I'm so right. My child has lost countless Barbie doll shoes, Sylvania Family mugs, Mrs Potatoe Head features to the elements. And all rivers lead to the sea. She alone, unwittingly, has caused environmental stress, and I am to blame because I continue to support the plastic industry by buying into it simply because it's there.

I read an article yesterday that showed a terrifyingly grotesque picture of one of the plastic islands that floats in our ocean. Filth. Kilometres long, kilometres wide. And it was only one example. A massive quarter of our earth's surface is covered in it. And for what? Because I, one human being among millions of human beings, turned up at the supermarket having forgotten my re-useables,  again. But sweet as, there's always the plastic alternative. I'm lazy. And I'm not alone.

I told my partner I was going to start a petition to ban plastic bags. He laughed and told me he'd have more respect for my decision if I actually stopped using plastic bags. For some reason, despite now having all the access to information one could possibly ask for, the blind eye surfaces once again and turns blissfully ignorant. Especially when, in the moment, I have my arms full of shopping, a child to wrestle with and the kind lady behind the counter offers me a solution. Yes please, I'll pay an extra 10 cents for that plastic bag.

Back in the quiet of my own home, I agonise over my ongoing inability to stay true to what I know is right, as I add that plastic bag to all the others collecting in the drawer. And the bottom line remains the same. Plastic is non-biodegradable and there's no such thing as 'throwing it away'. 

So here I am, asking you to help me, help the environment. A Christmas present to my conscience. I personally need to have plastic bag options removed from my life, so that I no longer contribute to this element of the plastic catastrophe. Please will you help me?

I call on Foodstuffs NZ Ltd, who controls an estimated 52% of our country's grocery market, to ban plastic bags from all of their retail stores around New Zealand. In doing so, leading our country to be rid of all plastic bags by 2020.  A powerful company can make powerful change, and I respectfully request that Foodstuffs NZ Ltd help me, help us, help Aotearoa to this first rung on the tall plastic ladder.

And as consumers, we must try to continue to look to our alternatives and put our nasty habits out of reach. Every single one of us counts.

With gratitude and aroha to my fellow Kiwi folk,

Merry Christmas,




Today: Janna is counting on you

Janna Sicely needs your help with “Bill English / National Government : BAN PLASTIC BAGS - Foodstuffs NZ Ltd”. Join Janna and 1,137 supporters today.