The small provincial town of Bulls in the heart of Rangitikei, is a socia-a-bull, delecta-a-bull, respect-a-bull and sometimes laugh-a-bull kind of place. But now finally, Bulls has something that is claim-a-bull: it is ditching single-use plastic bags.

"We are the first community in New Zealand to come up with our own collective Bulls Bag and it is actually community driven," said Jan Harris, Bulls and District Community Development Manager.

"Twenty business owners got together and made it happen. I have not seen that anywhere else. We are the first," she said.

The initiative has caught the attention of neighbouring cities which now want in on the act.

"Someone said to me the other day that they proudly go to Palmerston and slap their Bulls Bags down on the shelf and everyone looks at them saying, 'Where did you get them from?'

"We have got people in Palmerston North that have not shopped in Bulls wanting our bags. What better way to say as a community 'come on, get your act together,'" said Harris.

It is part of a global movement to ban single-use plastic bags with governments finally getting on board, legislating against various forms of plastic.

In Bulls, creating an environmentally friendly community is a priority, and a number of businesses are making an effort.

The local vet clinic previously used 120 plastic bags a week, but they're now a driving force for the Bull Bag.

"All businesses have a responsibility not only to protect the environment just for now, but for future generations," said David Geary, SRVS Business Manager.

"We have got plastic packaging, plastic containers, plastic everything. We really need to reduce that and I think by starting with the plastic bag... it really shows them that we are committed to that," he said.

The eco-friendly initiative has been embraced by the community, and Harris is sure it is viable.

"It is about corporate responsibility as well, not only families looking at how they can impact the environment. It is also about businesses making smart choices," he said.

The movement is helping the township make a memorable mark on the map.

"Some people do not come through Bulls on a regular basis, so it is something to remind them when they pull it out of the cupboard or reuse it, that they should come through Bulls," said Kirsty Sherriff, owner of Reloved Boutique.

With the Bull Bag already in hot demand on the streets, the town hopes to be completely plastic bag free within a year.

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