Take up the Challenge and Go Plastic Free This July

New Zealand’s Plastic Free July campaign is building on its wins of July 2019 with simple swaps to reduce single-use plastic and hard-to-recycle soft plastic.

Cut sandwich in non-plastic wrapIn 2019, 257,802 New Zealanders took part in Plastic Free July Aotearoa to refuse single use plastic. We also saw the government ban single use plastic shopping bags, the two main NZ supermarket chains encouraging the use of reusable containers for their meat and deli products in store, and reusable cup swap schemes by Ideal Cup and Again and Again expanding around the country.

So, what’s left to do? A lot, in fact.

Plastic Free July 2020 campaigners urge Kiwis to reassess how much single use plastic they still consume and make some simple swaps:

  • Reusable coffee cups and water bottles can come back out of the cupboard now that we’re in Level 1 of the COVID-19 response (COVID-19 Level 4 restrictions meant 20 million coffee cups did not get consumed and thrown away).
  • Shop packaging-free at your nearest bulk bin store.
  • Look for products sold in glass, cardboard or a can instead of plastic. Jam, peanut butter, mayonnaise and simmer sauces are all sold in either plastic or glass jars. Brands sold in glass jars are often also NZ brands, so you are supporting local at the same time.
  • Reuse jars as many times as possible before putting in the recycling bin. Use as storage containers, donate to groups who make jam for foodbanks or use as packaging for home-made beauty products.
  • For cleaning products, look for brands that offer refill stations in stores.
  • Buy laundry powder in a cardboard box with no plastic scoop included, and instead follow the on-pack instructions on the tablespoons of laundry powder needed per load.
  • Join the Refillution. Instead of buying bottled water, refill your own bottle at drinking fountains throughout the District or participating cafes and businesses.

Solid Waste Manager Kitty Waghorn is keen to see residents get behind the initiative, to realise that there are alternatives to using plastic.

“Our District has some excellent plastic free initiatives and many businesses show support by accepting reusable food containers and coffee cups, and some have banned plastic straws.  The focus of Plastic Free July is on simple ideas that generate big reductions in single-use plastics. Every Kiwi can do something small that makes a massive impact on the environment,” says Kitty.

To join the Plastic Free July challenge go to Plastic Free July.

Contact: Kitty Waghorn

Email: kitty.waghorn.govt.nz