Many ben­e­fits to Kiwi Bot­tle Drive

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Lo­cal News - GORD STEWART

Forty-six thou­sand tonnes of bev­er­age con­tain­ers are dis­carded into the lit­ter stream, wa­ter­ways and land­fills each year. This pol­lutes the en­vi­ron­ment and leads to un­nec­es­sary costs for coun­cils (and ratepay­ers!) and it has to stop.

A leg­is­lated Con­tainer De­posit Scheme (CDS) – a 10 cent de­posit on drink bot­tles and cans re­funded when re­turned for re­cy­cling – would just about elim­i­nate the prob­lem.

Pro­grammes over­seas show re­cy­cling rates can triple when such a programme is in place. Other sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits ac­crue as well.

In spite of all this, the Na­tional Govern­ment still needs con­vinc­ing. They have long pre­ferred a vol­un­tary ap­proach – tax­payer subsidised pro­grammes run by the bev­er­age and pack­ag­ing in­dus­try which have con­sis­tently been shown not to work.

The pro­posed CDS would cre­ate more than 2000 low-skill jobs in com­mu­ni­ties at no cost to Govern­ment. In the process, it would add less than 1 cent to the cost of each con­tainer.

So Kiwi Bot­tle Drives are go­ing on around the coun­try now to ob­tain sig­na­tures for a pe­ti­tion call­ing for the Govern­ment to en­act such a scheme and to demon­strate just how the con­tainer de­posit/re­turn sys­tem would work.

Tran­si­tion Mata­mata is or­gan­is­ing the Mata­mata ef­fort – run­ning Au­gust 7-12 – with sup­port from Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil, Smart En­vi­ron­men­tal, and the Ki­wa­nis Club of Mata­mata. Look for The Kiwi Bot­tle Drive dis­play around town dur­ing that week for a chance to sign the pe­ti­tion.

The bot­tle re­turn will run on Satur­day morn­ing, Au­gust 12. This is a great op­por­tu­nity for kids look­ing for a bit of pocket money and for teams and clubs want­ing to fund raise.

A 10 cent re­fund will be paid on returns for glass and plas­tic bev­er­age con­tain­ers and alu­minium cans. De­tails on the cam­paign will be pro­vided to schools the week of July 24.

A leg­is­lated Con­tainer De­posit Scheme is in place in more than a dozen en­light­ened coun­tries and, with them, re­cy­cling rates of 85-98 per cent are rou­tinely achieved.

It’s long past time New Zealand joined the party.

-Gord Stewart is an en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity con­sul­tant and Mata­mata res­i­dent.

Gord Stewart is back­ing the Con­tainer De­spoit Scheme.

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