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Keep New Zealand Beautiful Joins World Clean-Up Day

Keep New Zealand Beautiful has joined World Clean Up Day, a civic led mass movement organised by ‘Let’s Do It World!’. New Zealanders will join millions of people, in 150 countries, and will stand up against the global mismanaged waste problem by cleaning up roads, parks, beaches, forests, and coasts. Thousands of communities will act as one, creating a powerful ‘green wave’ spanning from New Zealand to Hawaii.

The aim of the World Clean Up Day is not just to move towards better waste handling, but also to raise awareness both locally and globally about the severity of the situation. And more importantly – to support and connect a new generation of community leaders ready to act together to find lasting solutions.

“Our primary focus is on education, waste minimisation and behaviour change. Over 80% of the plastic found in our oceans has come from the land, and only 9% of plastic overall has actually been recycled. We need to work with local leaders, government, our communities and industry, to conduct public consultations, educate consumers about alternatives to single use plastic, for example supermarket bags, and design more sustainable packaging alternatives,” says Alexandra Davids, Chairperson of Keep New Zealand Beautiful.

World Clean Up Day takes place during GJ’s Clean Up Week on 15 September 2018

The not-so-fun facts:

• Almost half of the plastic existing today has been produced during the last 15 years. (National Geographic, June 2018)

• Plastic debris tends to accumulate at the centre of ocean gyres. The North Pacific Gyre, for example, has collected the so-called “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, which is now estimated to be about three times the size of France (approximately from 700,000 to 1,6 million km2).

• Every year 4.8-12.7 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our oceans from the coastal areas and riverways. That is 15 bags filled with plastic waste per meter for all the coastal lines in the world. If all this waste was put on lined up trucks, the line would stretch around the world 24 times. (Jemma Jambeck, University of Georgia, 2015)

• That also equals dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050. (Ellen MacArthur Foundation report, 2016

• From all the plastic ever made, only 9% has been recycled. (Jemma Jambeck, National Geographic, 2018)

• More than 3.5 billion people do not have access to the most elementary waste management services (ISWA, Globalization and Waste Management, 2012)


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