Cash “refunds” for bottles and cans with Plastic Free July
Cash “refunds” for bottles and cans kicks off Plastic Free July this Saturday in Wellington
Friday June 28th
Wellingtonians can make some pocket money this weekend if they bring their plastic bottles in exchange for cash “refunds” at a zero waste event this Saturday to kick-off Plastic Free July.
The event, organised by campaign group The Kiwi Bottle Drive and sponsored by Wellington City Council aims to advocate for a bottle refund scheme by giving out free 10c-20c per item for plastic bottles, cans and other beverage containers.
With thousands of dollars to give away, organiser Holly Dove says she expects a good turn-out.
“We’re aiming to collect and recycle more than 20,000 beverage containers on Saturday.”
“It’s simple - people bring us in bottles and cans they’ve collected, maybe from the beach or by cleaning up their local park after Friday night, and we give them out cash in exchange.”
Run out of Aro Valley community centre from 11am-2pm this Saturday, The Great Kiwi Bottle Drive event will see thousands of dollars given away in 10c and 20c coins and will be a great fundraising opportunity for community groups.
“We’ll be giving out 20c refunds on plastic beverage containers and 10c on everything else.”
“We’re wanting to demonstrate how awesome it would be if New Zealand had a bottle refund scheme, whereby you get cash refunds on beverage containers,” Dove says.
“It’s a system countries like Australia and Canada have introduced to increase recycling rates and solve litter - and it’s working."
“While doubling our recycling rate and cleaning up our streets, a bottle refund scheme means great fundraising opportunities for community groups and schools - it’s a win-win for people and planet,” she says.
Dove delivered a petition calling for the introduction of a bottle refund scheme to Parliament late last year with a team of support, including Wellington’s Mayor Justin Lester.
Mayor Justin Lester said the Wellington council was in full-support of bottle deposits, which were a “back to the future” solution for waste minimisation.
"Bottle deposits are the next logical step for New Zealand to take in terms of waste minimisation and moving toward a zero waste economy," he said.
If a scheme were to go ahead, it would see a mandatory 10c-20c refund given on all beverage containers in New Zealand, says Dove.
“There’s been a huge swell of public support in the past few months, and we’re backed by councils and many different organisations, so it’s exciting to finally get a chance to educate kiwis on how a bottle refund system would work - as well as showing kids that recycling can be fun.”