A petition calling for the introduction of a cash-for-trash bottle refund scheme will be delivered to Minister Eugenie Sage and Green MPs Chlöe Swarbrick and Gareth Hughes tomorrow morning, following two years campaigning on this issue by advocacy group The Kiwi Bottle Drive.
An open letter accompanying the petition, signed by major New Zealand Councils, community recycling and environment networks, beverage companies and marine conservancy groups will be handed to Minister Sage by Wellington’s Mayor Justin Lester and plastic campaigners.
Lester says the council are in full-support of bottle deposits.
“Bottle deposits are the next logical step for New Zealand to take in terms of waste minimisation and moving toward a zero waste economy.”
“Local government advocates for bottle refunds because we know what great benefits a system like this would have for New Zealand communities – we’d see less litter on streets and beaches and councils would save money they’d usually have to spend cleaning up litter and dealing with public-place recycling contamination, which can be very high.”
“A bottle refund scheme means that waste has value and can no longer just be chucked away – bottle deposits design waste out of the system and instead it becomes a valuable resource that can be re-used or properly recycled,” Lester says.
Plastics campaigner Holly Dove says there are wider community benefits too.
“A lot of people remember using ‘bottle drives’ to fundraise for their local school and it was a great way for kids to earn some pocket money.”
“I love the idea of having a scheme here because it not only protects our beaches and marine life from toxic plastic but it also encourages onshore recycling and has benefits for the wider community in terms of fundraising and job creation,” Dove says.
“It’s a win for us and our environment.”.
The group goes to Parliament on Tuesday to deliver their petition and open letter, calling for the introduction of a bottle deposit scheme, carrying the voices of thousands of New Zealanders with them.
“We hope the government hears our message loud and clear,” says Dove.