Calls for zero waste Auck­land events


A univer­sity group is call­ing for Auck­land Coun­cil to en­force com­postable pack­ag­ing at all its events.

Univer­sity of Auck­land club Sus­tain­able Fu­ture Col­lec­tive (SFC) asked Auck­land Coun­cil to join the bat­tle against plas­tic pack­ag­ing at a meet­ing on March 14.

The call comes after Christchurch Coun­cil started tri­alling its own blan­ket rule in Fe­bru­ary.

In the trial food ven­dors at Christchurch’s Night Noo­dle Mar­kets, Sparks in the Park and the Lantern Fes­ti­val had to use pre-ap­proved com­postable pack­ag­ing.

SFC spokes­woman Isabel Gunn said Christchurch Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion would have di­verted thou­sands of sin­gle-use pack­ag­ing items from land­fills.

‘‘Christchurch is lead­ing the way, there is sim­ply no rea­son why Auck­land can­not fol­low suit,’’ Gunn said.

Ac­cord­ing to Re­cy­ Auck­land pro­duces 1.5 mil­lion tonnes of waste per year, and it pre­dicted within the next 10 years that would in­crease to 3 mil­lion tonnes per year.

Events or­gan­ised by coun­cil­con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tion (CCO) Auck­land Tourism, Events and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment (ATEED) such as Pasi­fika Fes­ti­val, Auck- land Lantern Fes­ti­val and Di­wali Fes­ti­val were re­quired to use ap­proved biodegrad­able pack­ag­ing.

How­ever SFC wanted a rule for all Auck­land events in­clud­ing Silo Night Mar­kets, Night Noo­dle Mar­kets and Laneway Fes­ti­val.

‘‘If one ven­dor or two has com­postable pack­ag­ing it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily work, there needs to be a whole sys­tem,’’ Gunn said.

Christchurch Coun­cil’s trial pack­ag­ing con­tract was with Auck­land sus­tain­able food pack­ag­ing com­pany Ecow­are.

Auck­land Coun­cil events man­ager David Burt said coun­cil’s Solid Waste By­law was up for re­view next year, which could pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for zero waste events to be ‘‘can­vassed more thor­oughly’’.

Movies in Parks will tran­si­tion to zero waste for 2018 and Music in Parks will tran­si­tion over a two year pe­riod, Burt said.

Auck­land Coun­cil has a goal of be­ing zero waste by 2040.

Gunn said it was good coun­cil was think­ing about zero waste but not enough was be­ing done.

‘‘If Christchurch could make change hap­pen last month, why is Auck­land talk­ing about within the next few years?’’

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