What is ‘Bags Not’?
‘Bags Not’ is a behavioural change campaign targeting the use of single-use plastic bags (SUPBs).
Plastic pollution is an issue that Go Well Consulting (GWC) is particularly passionate about solving. The way we see it, SUPBs are the poster child of single-use plastics and are the first step towards solving the problem. Since his return to New Zealand in 2015, GWC Director and Founder Nick Morrison has been on a personal mission to see New Zealand end it’s addiction to SUPBs. On learning that we use 1.6 BILLION every year, or around 350 per person every year, Nick was determined to influence change.
What began with a single Facebook post highlighting the issue snowballed into a continual flow (his Facebook friends would probably say “flood”) of posts that ranged from the irate to the positive, to the pleading. A personal social media campaign that also spilt over to his Instagram account (there was to be no escape!!). However, aware that the audience needed to be bigger and that more kiwis needed to be engaged in this issue Nick took it upon himself to write a letter to the then Minister for the Environment, Dr Nick Smith. (see this letter and his follow up letter in the Blog posts).
The letter struck a chord with the producers of Seven Sharp and he was asked to appear on the show in relation to the letter. A flurry of humorous and kind messages followed the TV appearance, but still, no significant change to the use of SUPBs had been achieved.
So the social media awareness approach continued.
It was one of these post (or perhaps the wish for them to stop) that inspired Sam Stratton, a friend of Nicks, to reach out and offer a cold beer and a helping hand in the fight. Sam is a very talented photographer who works for the advertising agency BCG2 and following that beer, it was Sam who arranged a meeting with James Blackwood, Director of BCG2.
Bags Not was born
It was from here that 'Bags Not' was born. James committed to providing a team of extremely talented individuals to help create a behavioural change campaign that would inspire, motivate and support Kiwis to change their SUPB habit. We started with no funding, no name, no logo, and no real sense of where it would end, but we were united in our determination to use our skill sets to help put an end to the madness!
‘Bags Not’ is live
‘Bags Not’ has now come to life with support from New World, Z-Energy, and NZME (for the most up to date list of partners and supporters check out the Bags Not website). Through radio, print, social media and the website, we are supporting Kiwis on a journey of changing a lifelong habit.
Through providing tips and tricks (or as we like to call “life hacks”) on how to remember to take a bag shopping, highlighting community lead initiatives and businesses that are providing solutions, and through education, we are engaging Kiwis at the grassroots level to inspire all New Zealanders to take responsibility and ownership of this massive problem.
So, next time you go shopping remember to take a bag with you and to say “Bags Not” to single-use plastic bags! Oh, and hey, no one says you can’t say “Bags Not” to plastic straws, plastic cups, plastic cutlery, plastic bottles, plastic takeaway containers and any other single-use plastic items!