Raglan teen gives university a basic lesson in recycling

Victoria University may be renowned for its halls of learning but it’s taken a Raglan teen to teach staff and students there a thing or two about recycling.

First-year design student Cody Stiles says he really wanted to make Victoria a more receptive place for environmental projects. So he did, by getting a few like-minded students together and forming  EnV – which stands for Environment Victoria.

Now just outside a busy reception area there’s a stand of colourful “boomerang bags” made from recycled materials to replace plastic shopping bags, with a sign reading: ‘Take when needed, return when done.’

It felt “pretty special” getting this first recycling project under way so soon into the university academic year, 18-year-old Cody told the Chronicle. “I’ve been in Raglan my whole life so it (living sustainably) has rubbed off on me.”

Cody went to both Raglan Kindergarten and the local area school followed by Fraser High.

He reckons staff at reception have been really supportive of the new stand or “bag tree” at their doors, where it’s easy to grab and return the bags.

So far the system seems to be working well, he adds.

EnV approached ‘Boomerang Bags’ – a national community-driven initiative tackling plastic pollution at grassroots level – to supply the bags, which were made from leftover material by volunteers in Wellington.

A hundred bags were donated  to kickstart the fledgling project.

Edith Symes