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Major Event to Recycle Water Bottles

Media Release 24 April 2008

Vodafone Homegrown First Major Event to Recycle Water Bottles

At this weekend’s sell-out Vodafone Homegrown music festival in Wellington, punters would probably be surprised to know that the bottles of water they are drinking would soon be destined to end up as underground cable covers.

This has been made possible because while everyone else is having fun, twenty-seven Good Water project volunteers will be busy collecting every single empty water bottle in an innovative recycling initiative that is a first for New Zealand.

"The aim is to help reduce the overwhelming amount of plastic bottles being sent to landfill each year in this country. Currently all plastic bottles put out for collection are bailed up and exported to Asia, with the rest going to landfill as they do not biodegrade or break down. The recycling initiative is a first for New Zealand and blazons the trail for other events to follow suit," says The Good Water Company CEO Grant Hall.

With twenty-one recycling stations located throughout the Vodafone Homegrown event, Good Water volunteers are on hand to educate and help punters dispose of their waste correctly. Bottles collected will then be sent to Auckland where they will be shredded and later converted into underground cable covers. Hall says because Vodafone Homegrown is a closed event this enables the company to have full control and essentially offer a full service from supply to recycling in New Zealand.

Event organiser Mark Wright says that with 14,000 people attending consuming an estimated 15,000 bottles of water, it was important to do the right thing:

"It has probably cost us a bit more to go down this track but it’s not always about money. Our ethos involves doing things the right way and obviously recycling is part of that. With 14,000 people jumping up and down for ten hours we do create a carbon footprint and so it’s about looking after the planet and trying to do things as best we can," says Wright.

Wright’s hope is that other events will see what has been achieved at Vodafone Homegrown and likewise choose to do the right thing.

"If we can educate people and show them that there is a way to hold an event and recycle the waste then they might do the same and that would be fabulous."

Good Water will be the official water brand sold at the event. Good Water is sold in New Zealand’s first environmentally sustainable water bottle that looks and feels like plastic yet is made entirely from vegetable matter. This means that when the water bottle has reached the end of its useful life cycle consumers can then dispose of it with the knowledge that it will ultimately break down and not harm the environment.

Good Water is also about to launch a new online service, which will be another first for New Zealand and again help close the recycling loop. The service will see the company’s innovative environmentally-friendly water bottle product being delivered direct to homes and offices around the country as well as providing a recycling collection service to make disposal easy.

"Recycling all the bottles at Homegrown is a major step forward for New Zealand," says Hall, "and shows you can have a good time without causing damage to the environment."


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