Ladies and gentle­men, a plate please

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - BRIDGETTEMURPHY, RANGIWAHIA EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL AND ARTS CEN­TRE (RE­ACT) Sub­mis­sions close 4pm, July 1, 2016. Oral sub­mis­sions are ac­cept­able.

What would it take for you to use your own mug at fes­ti­vals and gath­er­ings – a car­rot or a stick?

As the Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil con­sid­ers waste man­age­ment at community events, should it be look­ing at charg­ing event or­gan­is­ers to deal with all the waste that is gen­er­ated by food and cof­fee stalls? Or should we as a community be look­ing at new ways to deal with our waste, in­stead of pay­ing more for dis­posal?

Hu­man na­ture seems to dic­tate the use of force (higher charges and the like) for us to make change. What if we were in­cen­tivised to make change for our­selves, get­ting a discount for bring­ing our own plate and mug to events?

Most fam­i­lies have some kind of pic­nic-ware that could eas­ily ac­com­pany them to events. Imag­ine the money a family would save on pur­chas­ing food and drink at events by bring­ing their own plates – get­ting 50 cents off ev­ery dish they buy. Would this be enough to spur change?

Deal­ing with waste is al­ways go­ing to in­cur a coun­cil cost, which of course is then passed on to us as res­i­dents and ratepay­ers.

At a four-day fes­ti­val ear­lier this year, the ab­sence of dis­carded wa­ter bot­tles was no­tice­able. Nor­mally these lit­ter ev­ery space. We then re­alised there was no bot­tled wa­ter for sale on site. Ev­ery­one had their own drink­ing bot­tle, and re­fill points (hoses) were plen­ti­ful. If bot­tled wa­ter is not avail­able, people will be­come more re­silient. There are wa­ter foun­tains in most pub­lic event spa­ces in Manawatu, so the sale of plas­tic bot­tled wa­ter at events should be the first thing to go.

So should the coun­cil’s draft Waste Man­age­ment and Min­imi­sa­tion by­law in­clude rules about waste man­age­ment and min­imi­sa­tion at events? Coun­cil wants to hear from you.

PHOTO: MATTHEW SMITH/SUP­PLIED

Even rub­bish bins can be beau­ti­ful. These colour­ful re-use­able drums were part of the in­fra­struc­ture for the 2016 Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val, ser­vic­ing 200,000 concert-go­ers.

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