Sea monsters made out of plastic bottles and cans by children over the school holidays are being hand-delivered to Coca-Cola’s Auckland headquarters this afternoon, calling on the beverage giant to get serious about plastic waste.
The sea monsters, created by children in a series of craft workshops, are being delivered by environmental organisation The Kiwi Bottle Drive as part of a campaign to clean up oceans and communities by introducing a bottle deposit system for New Zealand.
Jordan Hoyle, 8, who created one of the sea monster being delivered to Coca-Cola executives today says it’s pretty simple why he wants bottle deposits.
“If we don’t have clean oceans, we don’t have fish,” he says, adding he has a message for Coca Cola:
“Coke – stop that plastic bottle business.”
Campaign coordinator Rowan Brooks says the creative action is a fun way to show Coca Cola how important it is to look after the ocean.
“We had loads of fun making these sea monsters with the kids – and now it’s time to deliver their message; the ocean and all the sea creatures – and monsters – living in it are sick of plastic bottles and cans destroying their way of life.”
“Coca Cola is responsible for billions of plastic bottles ending up on our streets and in the ocean, choking marine life,” he says.
“Quite frankly, we’re sick of seeing Coke cans in the gutter, and that’s why we are calling on them to step up and support a bottle deposit initiative – it’s proven to be the best way to skyrocket recycling rates and decrease litter rates overnight and we have no time to waste.”
“Bottle deposit schemes are used around the world to combat litter problems whereby a ten cent refund is given to a container of any kind, including glass, tetra packs, plastic and aluminium, and it’s had incredible results. New Zealand needs to join in if we want to get real about solving our litter problem,” he says.
Right now New Zealand is only one step away from getting bottle deposits – it’s already part of current waste legislation – but Brooks says companies like Coca Cola are stalling the process by being part of the group that lobby’s against the schemes.
“Coca Cola internationally has come out in support of bottle deposits but right now Coca Cola Amitil New Zealand is letting everyone down by supporting the opponents of deposits – just so it doesn’t have to be responsible for its waste.”
The Kiwi Bottle Drive has spent the last two weeks on a project called ‘Coke in the gutter’, getting members of the public to share their pictures of Coke cans and bottles found where they shouldn’t be – in gutters, at the beach and on the streets.
“It’s simple, if we had bottle deposits we would be finding Coke cans and bottles in recycling bins instead of the gutter,” says Brooks.
“This is where they should be, not choking our oceans and killing marine life. It’s a very clear message we’ll be carrying to Coca-Cola today; our children want clean oceans and healthy communities.”
“As one of the kids said – what would we do without oceans?.”