Environmental group "Plastic bag-free Whangarei" wants those attending the city's Growers' Market today to celebrate World Earth Day by using reusable bags.

A bag-swap stand is at the markets to encourage people to swap their plastic bags for recyclable ones.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Whangarei and visitors to the market to use a bag that doesn't cost the earth," group spokeswoman Tammy Fromont said.

The group has had a bag-swap stand at the market for the past month making reusable environment-friendly bags available to the public in a bid to reduce disposable plastic bag use in the city.


"We can see the value in doing a little bit to help, and using reusable bags instead of disposable plastic bags, is one way to do that. We make reusable bags available for a small koha or in exchange, to people who didn't bring their own reusable bags or simply forgot, instead of asking for plastic bags when they buy their produce," she said.

"There are also people who have a lot of reusable bags at home that aren't being used and we encourage them to bring bags to the stand, as well, for others to use."

As a global initiative, the plastic bag-free movement is a growing phenomenon in cities and countries all over the world, and an example is Tasmania, which has gone plastic bag-free since November 2013.

Although World Earth Day was officially yesterday, Ms Fromont said the Growers' Market is the ideal place to celebrate, and for the public to do their little bit in support of the day.