STUDENTS DITCH PACKAGING
Students at Auckland University are being asked to wrap up their plastic bag use.
Phoebe Balle is a member of volunteer group Plastic Diet and the environmental affairs officer for the Auckland University Students Association. She’s keen to see students reduce the amount of waste they produce.
‘‘At the moment we’ve got a waste watchers project going on and that’s focused on reducing the amount of single use packaging students produce.
‘‘We’re going to be having wasteless Wednesdays. We’ll have a wash station set up with volunteers and we’ll be making these available to students,’’ she says. ‘‘They can get their lunch served and then bring the dirty plates back to us and we’ll wash them. It will be a way of reducing the packaging students use and collecting food waste for our new worm farms.’’
Balle is also encouraging to students to sign the petition created by marine biologist Steph Borrelle.
Green MP Denise Roche says a campaign which ‘‘won’t just fall over’’ needs to be developed.
‘‘If we’re going to make any progress we’ve got to create a movement and a groundswell of people that are opposed to put pressure on the politicians.’’
Borrelle says locals can expect action this July during plastic-free month.
‘‘We’re just getting a committee together with people that are really keen to get on board,’’ she says.
‘‘We’ll take the petition to the council in July and show them that there’s a lot of support for a ban to be implemented.’’
She says they are ‘‘joining forces’’ with the University of Auckland’s Plastic Diet group.
‘‘I believe that the issue needs to spread across New Zealand,’’ she says.
‘‘If we can get it in Auckland then there’s no reason we can’t take it national and get the entire country on board.’’ – Zizi Sparks is an AUT