Ōpōtiki Library has saved about a kilometre of plastic from going to landfill after deciding to stop covering fiction paperback books in plastic.
Library manager Jo Hunt said the library decided to stop covering fiction books in 2018 to reduce its own plastic use.
Since then, it has bought about 2000 new books that previously would have been covered in plastic equating to 1km of plastic no longer being sent to landfill.
Hunt said Plastic Free July was a chance for people to be more conscious of how much plastic was part of their everyday lives and make changes that start to remove it from habits and processes.
"It was during Plastic Free July in 2018, that Ōpōtiki Library decided to stop covering fiction paperbacks as a way we could reduce our own plastic use.
"So this year, three years later, we wanted to take the opportunity to crunch some numbers and see just how much difference this step has made."
Hunt said many of the books being covered previously were fiction "trade paperbacks", standard size books that require about 50cm x 33cm of self-adhesive plastic covering.
Both the plastic backing, which is non-recyclable, and the actual plastic film attached to the book covers would be unrecyclable at the end of the book's life.
"Trade paperbacks are not an asset with a long-term life span so we didn't want to cover these books with a waste product that would exist in the environment well past the life of the book.
"And to date, we haven't thrown away any of those 2000 books because of a tatty cover."
Hunt said plastic covers still had a place, with the library staff selectively covering some books for longer life or extra care.
"A couple of side benefits of not covering our books have been freeing up staff time and reducing our spend on plastic film which works out at about 85c per metre.
"But the real benefit has been reducing our environmental impact and showing others that small changes in our day-to-day lives can add up to bigger impacts on our environment.
"I'd encourage others in the community to do a small stocktake of their own plastic use and see what changes they can make now to reduce the impact of plastic pollution."