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Council Lends Support To Wānaka Clean-up Event

A community-wide clean-up event in Wānaka this weekend aims to raise awareness of global plastic pollution in waterways and on land.

Organisers of the Great Lake Wānaka Cleanup are encouraging individuals, families and groups of friends to collect as much waste as possible from the town centre’s lakefront, parks and reserves between 9.00-11.00am on Saturday 23 October.

Collected waste will then be dropped into a sculpture made by local artists entirely from building waste and chicken wire which will then be displayed at the Lake Wānaka Centre during next week’s Wao Summit 2021. The annual summit is a six-day event organised by local environmental not-for-profit group Wao Aotearoa aimed at mainstreaming sustainability and fostering diversity.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is supporting the summit by providing venue hire and organisational assistance, and also providing free disposal of the waste collected during Saturday’s clean-up event.

QLDC Waste Minimisation Project Officer Katherine Buttar is involved with the event and will be a member of the panel discussing plastic pollution following a screening of NZ-made documentary ‘For The Blue’ on Friday 29 October.

“The clean-up morning makes it easy for everyone in the community to come together and help keep Wānaka’s stunning landscape litter free,” she said.

Wao Aotearoa co-founder and trustee Monique Kelly said the aim was to keep the conversation going about simple steps people can take to reduce plastic waste.

“Displaying the waste we collect as a sculpture will help tell a story and grow awareness about the amount of plastic pollution locally. The documentary and panel discussion will then take that same story and project it on a global scale,” she said.

Anyone wishing to take part in the clean-up event should head to Wānaka’s Dinosaur Park at 9.00am this Saturday. They are encouraged to bring their own bucket or repurposed collection bag, gardening gloves (rather than single-use gloves), drink bottle and sturdy shoes. There is no charge but people are asked to register in advance via https://wao.co.nz/summit2021.

The screening of ‘For the Blue’ and panel discussion takes place at Wānaka Community Hub (34 McDougall Street) between 7.00-9.00pm on Friday 29 October. Tickets are available from https://wao.co.nz/summit2021.

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