Hundreds of Waipā residents have traded in single-use plastics for reusable items this month as part of Plastic Free July.

More than 650 eco-friendly goodies, such as bamboo toothbrushes, bars of soap, beeswax wraps and shampoo bars, were given away at six events held in Cambridge and Te Awamutu by Waipā District Council over the past month to promote the initiative.

Plastic Free July is an annual campaign to reduce plastic waste by encouraging people and business to use sustainable alternatives.

Council waste minimisation officer Sally Fraser said it was encouraging to see so many locals attending the events, engaging in conversations and looking for ways to reduce their contribution to plastic waste.

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"There are a lot of people in Waipā who are very keen to reduce the amount of plastic they use and to live more sustainably, which is fantastic.

"The key is to start off with making small, simple changes such as using a beeswax wrap for your sandwich each day rather than cling film or using a reusable produce bag instead of the single use plastic bags."

Sally said it was important to focus on reducing or reusing plastic items before recycling them.

"We've got a great recycling system here in Waipā but the best way to make the biggest impact on how much waste goes to landfill is by reducing or reusing plastics. Recycling should be a last resort after these options."

In Waipā, only plastic types 1, 2 and 5, paper, cardboard, tins and cans can be recycled in the yellow wheelie bin, and glass in the blue wheelie bin.

All recycling must be clean and empty.

More information on waste minimisation and recycling can be found at www.waipadc.govt.nz/our-services/rubbish-and-recycling/recycling.

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