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Plastic Bottles Posted to Parliament Send Clear Message

Thousands of plastic bottles are expected to end up on Environment Associate Minister Scott Simpson's desk this month - instead of ending up in our oceans.

The Kiwi Bottle Drive campaign is launching its “Message in a Bottle” call-to-action this coming Saturday, encouraging kiwis to send a plastic drink bottle, Freepost to Parliament, to show support for bringing back a bottle deposit system, whereby 10c refunds are given when drink containers are recycled.

Campaigners say this will reduce litter in New Zealand by 65% and beyond. “There’s no time to waste,” says Kiwi Bottle Drive campaign coordinator Rowan Brooks. “Bottle deposit schemes clean up the environment, reduce litter and create cash for our kids and communities”.

“New Zealand’s once-pristine coastlines and stunning beaches are under serious threat from plastic waste and by 2050 there is predicted to be more plastic in the ocean than fish,” Brooks says.

“Meanwhile we have a solution - bottle deposit schemes are an incredibly effective way to deal with our plastic pollution, and we already have the legislation to set one up under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.”

The Kiwi Bottle Drive will be launching the first messages in bottles from Milford beach this coming Saturday from 10am, in conjunction with a beach clean-up taking place that morning.

Alongside showing volunteers what a bottle deposit scheme would look like, by giving out 10c refunds for all containers collected as part of the clean-up, the Kiwi Bottle Drive will be encouraging beach-goers to send in their messages in bottles to parliament.

With a second launch scheduled for 12.30pm at Auckland’s Harbourside, in Sustainable Coastline’s Flagship Education Centre, it’s set to be a busy day for the campaign team.

Coordinator Rowan Brooks says he is excited about the launch. “We are expecting a great turn-out, and are encouraging anyone who finds themselves in the Auckland region this weekend to join us in launching this fantastic campaign,” Brooks says. “This is for anyone who cares about New Zealand’s coastlines and communities, or even anyone that has always wanted to send something cheeky to parliament.”

The campaigners have based their work on a report released in late 2015, which indicates re-introduction of a bottle deposit scheme could easily take NZ to 85% recycling rates, cutting litter by 65% and with additional benefits such as 2500 new jobs in a recycling economy, $26-40 million saved in council waste management and carbon emission reductions. This report prompted 90% of local councils to vote in favour of a bottle deposit scheme in 2016.

The Kiwi Bottle Drive is encouraging supporters to send plastic bottles to the Associate Minister Scott Simpson, Freepost Parliament, with a message stating “We want bottle deposits!”.

Supporters can also post pictures on social media with messages of how bottle deposits can help their communities.

To find out more and get involved, visit kiwibottledrive.nz


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