‘Symbolic’ campaign to reduce waste
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.