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The environment should not be milked for profits

18 October 2005

The environment should not be milked for profits

The Green Party is launching a campaign to save the humble glass milk bottle.

Long disappeared from the North Island, the Kiwi milk bottle are still a popular way to buy milk in the South Island, but new Meadow Fresh milk owner billionaire Graeme Hart is rumoured to be planning to axe them next month.

Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald says he won't let them go without a fight.

"Between one quarter and one-third of all sales of milk in the South Island are in glass milk bottles. They are the most environmentally friendly form of packing. They are used washed and filled again. On average each is reused 100 times. Imagine how much plastic and cardboard waste would be generated if Meadow Fresh's new owner dumps them," Mr Donald says.

"The Greens want to not only save the bottle, but to encourage people to buy more of their milk in glass."

Mr Hart appears to want to increase his profits at the expense of consumers and ratepayers, Mr Donald says.

"While it might be cheaper for him to get rid of the bottle washing plant in Christchurch, his decision will impose a cost on every ratepayer in the South Island, who will have to pay for the increased cost of disposing of or recycling non-glass packages.

The Green Party is approaching all South Island mayors to ask them to join the campaign to save the milk bottle and will be encouraging consumers and vendors to lobby Meadow Fresh to keep this Kiwi icon.

Mr Hart might like to take a triple bottom line approach to his business and also consider the environmental and social benefits of keeping the production line going.

The Green Party has a bill in the ballot, which will make it mandatory for manufacturers to put a deposit on their packaging.

Mr Donald, who was the Christchurch City Council's recycling officer in the 1970s, has long been a fan of bottle deposits.


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