Borrow and return bags not coming back

300 bags have flown out of the Four Square door, but they haven’t been returned.

A scheme to help Matakana become plastic-bag free by supplying a bank of reusable fabric bags at the local Four Square is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success.

Some 300 cloth bags made by volunteers have been snapped up by shoppers in favour of plastic carrier bags, but the message that they are only for borrowing and should be returned to the store seems to have got a little lost along the way.

The store is down to a handful of its ‘borrow and return’ bags and, while happy that they are proving so popular, would love to have more returned for future use.

Project coordinator Josie Jackson says there seems to have been a bit of confusion in the first days of the scheme.

“The idea is that, if you get to the shop and have forgotten or don’t have your own reusable bag, you can use one of ours instead of a plastic bag,” she says. “But then next time you come to Four Square, you bring your own reusable shopping bag with you, and return ours back to the shop for someone else to use.”

Josie is supplying the shop with ‘sew-your-own’ bag kits, and says if anyone has trouble sourcing their own reusable shopping bags, they can contact her at


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