Single-use plastic will be public enemy number one in the Hauraki District during July.
At a meeting on 25 June 2019, Hauraki District Council decided to take part in the annual Plastic Free July campaign in an effort to reduce plastic waste, and has also put out the challenge to its communities to go plastic free.
Plastic Free July is a worldwide challenge to choose to refuse single-use plastic for one month to see how much waste can be reduced, and hopefully create new waste-reducing habits.
Taking the lead
Council’s Waste Minimisation Working Party is keen for council to take the lead in the community in an effort to minimise waste.
Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga said he was very pleased council supported the Plastic Free July initiative.
“I think it’s good we’ve got a council that supports this because plastic waste is a major problem. It’s about us changing how we think about plastic, we need to learn to avoid it and not buy plastic in the first place.”
Becoming single-use plastic free
Supporting the campaign was a step toward Council becoming single-use plastic free, he said.
“As a council, we’re always looking at ways to reduce plastic waste, but we know we could be doing better. For example, we’re currently looking into affordable and sustainable alternatives to our yellow rubbish bags that could be phased in over time.”
Reducing plastic use
Council engineering services group manager Adrian de Laborde said reducing plastic use at home and work was significantly better than sending it to landfill or trying to remove it from oceans, streets or the surrounding environment.
“The global ‘disposable culture’ of using once and disposing of plastic is contributing to an environmental crisis. Virtually every piece of plastic ever manufactured still exists in some form today,” he said.
BYO reusable containers
“Bringing in your own reusable container is a great alternative to coffee cups, sushi containers and water bottles, which are just some of the items that fill up workplace rubbish bins.”
For more information and top tips on how to cut down on plastic go to www.hauraki-dc.govt.nz/enviro-matters.