Providing a “library” of reusable¬†bags will help reduce plastic bag usage, a new Dunedin initiative says.

Plastic-Free Dunedin co-founder Tess Trotter said the initiative’s first project would be “Bags for Good”, a scheme where residents could pick-up reusable shopping bags from stores instead of using plastic bags.

Ms Trotter said shoppers could pick up the bags if they forgot their own, and then return them next time they came to the shop.

Co-founder Fiona Jenkin said the biggest issue with customers using reusable bags was that many people forgot to bring them with them when they went shopping.

Plenty of groups around the city were already promoting reusable bag initiatives in their areas, but the group was keen to connect with existing initiatives and expand across Dunedin, Ms Trotter said.

The bags would be made with recycled or reused fabric.

She said the project would be the first of ongoing schemes by Plastic-Free Dunedin.

It would be trialled at a small store later this year to get customer and storeowner feedback before fixing any issues and rolling it out into larger shops.

The group had applied for funding through the Sustainable Dunedin City’s Big Green Challenge and, if successful, hoped to have a prototype trialled and made fool-proof by October, Ms Trotter said.

Interested residents could contact Plastic-Free Dunedin through their Facebook page “Bags for Good” or email

The group would also be holding an art competition in July where individuals could design a logo for Plastic-Free Dunedin’s official branding.

Plastic-Free Dunedin will hold a public meeting about the bag project at the Dunedin Curtain Bank, Level 1, 174 Princes St, on May 25 at 5.30pm.