‘Sym­bolic’ cam­paign to re­duce waste

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - REXINE HAWES

He was not sure whether the cam­paign would prompt gov­ern­ment to look at re-in­tro­duc­ing the bot­tle de­posit scheme.

But there were al­ready a num­ber of ini­tia­tives un­der­way to re­duce waste.

‘‘I am look­ing at mak­ing an an­nounce­ment next week about the re­cy­cling of PET plas­tic bot­tles, that’s soft drink bot­tles and so on. It re­lates to a Welling­ton-based com­pany which made an ap­pli­ca­tion to the waste min­imi­sa­tion fund some time ago and it’s about to come to fruition.

‘‘I think many of the peo­ple who sent me plas­tic bot­tles would be in­ter­ested in this.’’

Cam­paign ma­te­rial about the Kiwi Bot­tle Drive said a na­tional bot­tle de­posit scheme would re­duce plas­tics in the ocean, triple re­cy­cling rates, cre­ate 2000 jobs and save $26 mil­lion for coun­cils around the coun­try in land­fill costs.

Kem­plen says Simp­son is only too aware of the cost of plas­tic in the ocean, be­ing the MP for Coro­man­del, the ‘‘mecca for Auck­land’s hol­i­day mak­ers’’.

‘‘I am sure he will sit up and take no­tice.’’

Kem­plen re­mem­bered when plas­tic drink bot­tles were in­tro­duced in the 1960s, touted as a lightweight al­ter­na­tive to glass.

The im­pact of plas­tic bot­tles on the en­vi­ron­ment now could not be ig­nored.

He re­ferred to an ar­ti­cle in The Guardian, stat­ing one mil­lion plas­tic bot­tles were bought around the world every minute and is set to in­crease by 20 per cent by 2021. ‘‘It’s stag­ger­ing,’’ he said. ‘‘I was brought up in the 1950s, we didn’t grow up with plas­tic bot­tles.

‘‘So there will be a lot of peo­ple to­day who think that’s just the way it is, they don’t know there were other drinks.

‘‘The dis­ad­van­tage, if you look at the stats, of the num­bers of bot­tles used for pack­ag­ing is enor­mous and not sus­tain­able.

‘‘When I think of my grand­chil­dren, I don’t know what they are go­ing to do, the moun­tain is grow­ing big­ger and big­ger.’’

He said peo­ple had re­ferred to the postal plas­tic bot­tle cam­paign ways to pack­age as a stunt or a protest, but it’s nei­ther.

‘‘It’s mak­ing peo­ple aware of the huge is­sue that’s not go­ing to go away. The re­ac­tion has been bril­liant, the peo­ple I speak to from my gen­er­a­tion say it’s a no­brainer ‘cause that’s what we used to do.

‘‘We are on au­to­matic, (when us­ing plas­tic) and that’s what the protest is about - just think about it.’’

The Kiwi Bot­tle Drive col­lec­tion in Matamata would also be an in­cen­tive for stu­dents and or­gan­i­sa­tions to raise funds.

Those tak­ing part in Matamata will re­ceive a free post sticker to place on an empty, but clean, plas­tic bot­tle to send to Scott Simp­son.

Vol­un­teers from Tran­si­tion Matamata will be at in­for­ma­tion sites around town from Au­gust 7-11.

It would lead into the Kiwi Bot­tle Drive col­lec­tion out­side Matamata Trac­tors and Ma­chin­ery on Au­gust 12, where you can swap an empty plas­tic or glass bev­er­age bot­tle for 10 cents from 8am-11am.

‘‘I was brought up in the 1950s, we didn't grow up with plas­tic bot­tles.’’

An ex­am­ple of some of the plas­tic bot­tles des­tined for the of­fice of MP Scott Simp­son.

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