STU­DENTS DITCH PACK­AG­ING

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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

jour­nal­ism stu­dent

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