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Clean-Up NZ Week - don’t take rubbish home

Clean-Up NZ Week - don’t take rubbish home in the first place

At the start of Clean-Up New Zealand Week, Green MP Mike Ward is calling on retailers, and particularly supermarkets, to encourage their customers to avoid using plastic bags to carry their purchases from the store.

“While it is great to see New Zealand being cleaned up, litter is just the tip of the rubbish iceberg,” said Mr Ward, the Greens’ Waste-free Spokesperson.

“Most Kiwis are pretty careful about where they leave their waste, but we help create the problem nevertheless when we take home stuff with a limited shelf life.

“So it makes sense for everyone to use occasions like Clean-Up NZ Week as an opportunity to reflect on the fact that if we use fewer plastic bags and less packaging we have a whole lot less to get rid of later. After all, everything we use consumes energy in its production and land in its disposal.

“Most supermarkets provide alternatives to plastic bags but appear reluctant to take measures to encourage customers to bring them back. In a very wasteful world there is money to be made and kudos to be gained by the stores that really do ‘walk the talk’ over waste minimisation,” said Mr Ward.

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