Whanganui people are caught up in a worldwide wave of concern about the use and disposal of plastic - especially plastic that gets into the sea, Deirdra McMenamin says.

She was the co-ordinator of about 30 events during Plastic Free July, reaching people from pre-schoolers to secondary students and business. The month was a phenomenal success, she said.

"There were heaps of people through on the different activities, but more importantly there's been a noticeable difference in people having the conversations."

One marker of that is Whanganui New World owners John and Victoria Kelly - who participated in the Plastic Free July "unwrap" event - giving away environmentally sound products like e-bikes, reuseable cups and wax wraps this year.


"This time last year they were giving away those plastic toys," McMenamin said.

Raised consciousness was good, but she hopes plastic awareness goes further than that.

"We just need to put the pressure on to get manufacturers and political policy change at government level."

The biggest prize for participants in the events was two trips on Energy Direct, the Coastguard Whanganui rescue boat. Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall made the prize draw on July 26 and those winners were Nicole Atkinson and her son Jordan and the McMurrey family.

There were lots of other prizes. Among the winners were Peter Watson with a ukulele, Rachel Rose with a high-vis backpack, Margaret Gough with a yoghurt maker and Frances Sim-Higgins with a worm farm.

McMenamin thanks all those who donated prizes and ran workshops and activities.