Hand-made reusable bags are available for shoppers to pick up, use, and return in the middle of Red Square, in a bid to combat the high number of plastic bags used.
Charlotte Manville set up Boomerang Bags, a community-driven initiative where volunteers have made reusable bags using recycled fabric to provide shoppers a sustainable alternative to plastic bags.
"The amount of single-use plastic bags are clogging up landfill and are ending up in the ocean, pretty soon there will be more plastic than fish," she said.
Shoppers can take a Boomerang Bag from the newly created box in Red Square, use it for their shopping, and return it when they have finished using it.
"If you have forgotten a reusable bag that day or don't have one, you can pick it up from a share box, it's a borrow and bring back thing.
"It's nice to do something for the environment and the community."
Thirty volunteers had worked on the first sewing bee cutting, pinning and ironing donated material to create the bags.
"There has been a real mixture of people coming, lots of people have come and are learning to sew," she said.
Ms Manville was on the lookout for more volunteers to establish another Boomerang Bag Box in Mt Maunganui.
Fabric donations can be dropped off at Mount Maunganui Public Library, 398 Maunganui Rd in the box marked "Fabric Donations". This could be anything from old curtains, sheets, blankets and pillowcases.