Liv­ing in biodegrad­able world

It’s time to bin the plas­tic bag and look at the op­tions to re­duce waste, as Rexine Hawes re­ports.

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News -

Waikato may­ors are split on a pro­posed sin­gle plas­tic bag levy but peo­ple at com­mu­nity level are de­vel­op­ing their own way to re­duce waste and re­cy­cle.

Waikato En­vi­ron­ment Cen­tre gen­eral man­ager So­nia Furs­don urged Waikato may­ors to sign an open let­ter to As­so­ci­ate En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Scott Simp­son ask­ing for a na­tional levy on sin­gle-use plas­tic bags.

But Mata­mata-Pi­ako mayor Jan Barnes does not sup­port a ban, in­stead she would pre­fer to see the Govern­ment in­tro­duce biodegrad­able bags.

‘‘Is this our role (lo­cal govern­ment)? We can add weight, en­cour­age and ed­u­cate, but I want Govern­ment to look at biodegrad­able plas­tic.

‘‘Yes I am all for re­duc­ing plas­tic in our com­mu­nity, let’s get back to wool car­pet and back to chip­ping up tyres.’’

Barnes said there were a raft of op­tions.

‘‘New World is gath­er­ing up soft plas­tic and be­ing re­spon­si­ble, let’s work this way, but ul­ti­mately to­wards biodegrad­able.

‘‘Let’s ask how are you us­ing the bag and are you be­ing re­spon­si­ble when us­ing it? And that’s ed­u­ca­tion.’’

The is­sue will be de­bated at the up­com­ing Lo­cal Govern­ment New Zealand AGM. on them. Plas­tic bags are also made from a fi­nite re­source.

There are many places where plas­tic bags can be re­cy­cled but this is only true for 1 per cent, with the rest head­ing to land­fill and the ocean.

‘‘Neg­a­tive im­pacts on the en­vi­ron­ment are sig­nif­i­cant and em­i­nently worth ad­dress­ing.’’

New World Mata­mata check­out op­er­a­tor Bron­wyn Keatinge packs Sue Knud­sen’s gro­ceries into re-us­able gro­cery bags.

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