Bay of Plenty locals rally to oppose bottling Mega Plants
This coming Sunday at 12 midday a protest is to be held on Omanu Beach, and over 1000 people have signed up to join it with numbers building daily including families, kids and college environment groups.
The protest is called 2400 bottles on the beach. 2400 is the number of single use plastic bottles that just one of the plants will be capable of creating every minute, and the first consented plant (Otakiri) has been granted licence to operate 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. That is a total of just under half a billion bottles per year.
Times that by at least two more mega plants who are also sizing up the area and you have a tsunami of plastic, many residents of The Bay do not want to be famous for generating as much plastic water bottles as England currently consumes in a year.
On top of the plastic waste issue is the fact that the plants will generate an estimated 500 trucks per day heading to port on an already congested transport network.
People plan to gather at 12 mid-day on the beach with used plastic bottles inscribed with a message. The balance of 2400 bottles will be brought on site from the local refuse centre.
Locals are outraged that the consent for the Otakiri plant expansion has not been publicly notified and most of the community have been in the dark about the scale of the industry. The protest is timed to take place one day before the appeal hearing against the Otakiri Plant, a hearing that has been crowd sourced by local community group, Sustainable Otakiri.
As we head towards ecological crisis, the community demands accountability for this type of decision making and are calling for urgent reform of our water resource laws to protect our precious resource and to ask Council and NZTE to take the full environmental costs in to the business case when deciding to grant permission for new industries to set up shop in our communities.