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Plastic Free July Highlights The Solution To Pollution

Wellington City Council is once again proud to be joining the global movement by supporting events, activities and initiatives this Plastic Free July – being part of the solution, not the problem.

There’ll be videos, handy hints, prize giveaways, useful links, stories, community events and initiatives all related to different themes highlighting the issues single-use plastics have on our environment.

There have been some significant changes in the past few years led by Wellington City Council, including campaigns to get rid of single-use plastic bags and plastic straws – but there’s always room for so much more, says Councillor Laurie Foon, Waste Minimisation Portfolio Lead.

“Plastic Free July is a good time to showcase all the alternatives to single-use plastics – whether it be reusable coffee cups or drink bottles, byo containers, buying in bulk, or trying out the many refill grocery options that are popping up in stores around the city. These are just a few examples that are good for the planet – and for the wallet.

“We’ve just announced that we will no longer be collecting plastic items numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 in our kerbside collections from Monday 20 July as there’s no viable market for it – so we need to work collectively to influence manufacturers to rethink their packaging options. This move is aligning with many other New Zealand Councils and the global movement toward a consistency in the plastics we do use.”

For many years, Wellington City Council has advocated for a reduction in single-use plastics and supported sustainable organisations through its funding programme, including Round the Bays 2020 replacing 14,000 single-use plastic bottles with reusable Globelet cups thanks to the Waste Minimisation Seed Fund.

A few small changes in everyone’s lifestyle can make a significant difference in reducing plastic use, and Plastic Free July provides all sorts of resources, information and data to help make that happen, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“People changed their behaviour almost overnight when single-use plastic bags were banned from supermarkets, so we know consumers can adapt quickly when they need to.

“We are working closely with Central Government, retailers and businesses to address this issue of single-use plastics and non-recyclables – but we need Wellingtonians to do their bit too.”

Community Centres and Wellington Libraries will be putting on events and activities related to Plastic Free July, and we’re encouraging Wellingtonians to get involved.

Wellington City Council’s themes for Plastic Free July 2020 are:

· Week 1 | 29 June – 5 July: Introduction to Plastic Free July

· Week 2 | 6 – 12 July: Living plastic free, groceries and bathroom

· Week 3 | 13 – 19 July: Low waste parenting

· Week 4 | 20 – 26 July: Recycling week

· Week 5 | 27 – 31 July: Inspiration week

Other initiatives Council is supporting throughout Plastic Free July include:

· Regular competitions on Council’s Facebook page and other channels, with prize packs for plastic free related challenges, plus videos, activities, resources and handy hints

· On-going support and funding for waste minimisation and environmental groups and initiatives like zero carbon challenge winner Reusabowl, Again Again, RefillNZ, and Sustainable Coastlines

· A Plastic Free July page on the Council website with tips on how to reduce plastic and where to go for more information: wellington.govt.nz/plasticfreejuly

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