In 2016 local mum of two Anna van Riel forgot to take her own bags to the supermarket.
Although Anna took a box that day for her groceries, she was struck by just how many bags were making their way out of supermarket doors and straight to landfill.
Due to a lack of awareness around the dangers of single-use plastics, and a need for a change in policy Anna went home and created a social media post on a community chat, and discovered that hundreds of others were feeling the same way.
With the support of community and a core team of passionate waste crusaders, the group formed as a social enterprise company with charitable status in 2018.
They have since launched a series of waste-free initiatives to support community, such as SUCfree Wānaka (single-use cup free Wānaka), a stage show and children’s superhero Waste Free Wanda, and educational videos with mascot Plastic Free Paula. The team have delivered a variety of community workshops and events, including the waste free fair, beeswax wrap and produce bag workshops, and have developed a Wanaka waste free shopping guide.