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 Recycle.co.nz 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?’’