Community & Environment

Plastic Free July

Waste reduction ideas fund

Sunday 1 July marks the start of the global Plastic Free July movement which aims to raise awareness about the problems single-use disposable plastic creates and challenges people to do something about it.

Hamilton City Council has partnered with Hamilton businesses Mainstream Green and Volare to support the initiative with events and giveaways funded through the Council’s Waste Minimisation Fund. The Volare team will be offering discounts on glass Keep Cups and will give a limited number of free coffees away each day to encourage people to go plastic free.

Charlotte Catmur, the Council’s Waste Minimisation Advisor, says Plastic Free July is a great chance for people to stop and think about what simple changes they could make to avoid using single-use plastic.

“We live in a world where most people choose convenience over consciousness. We have given in to a lifestyle of easily avoidable plastics like takeaway coffee cups, drink bottles, shopping bags and straws.

“We can see the effect of this behaviour in our data. In 2016 Hamilton sent 33% more waste to landfill than we did in 2012, our kerbside rubbish has increased by around 11% and our kerbside recycling has reduced by about 12%”.

“The good news is there are so many alternatives out there to single-use plastics – reusable coffee cups, reusable shopping bags, paper/metal straws and reusable drink bottles. One simple change can make a huge difference.

As a Council, we need to lead by example when it comes to waste minimisation, which is why we have our Waste Plan – but we can’t do it on our own. We are very fortunate to have some forward-thinking businesses on board like Mainstream Green, Volare and Zibido Hairdressers,” says Ms Catmur.

The Waste Plan, which is the Council’s commitment to reducing waste, was adopted earlier this year and sets out goals, objectives and targets to guide the Council towards waste avoidance, reduction and recovery. Through the Plan, the Council has community ‘waste champions’, which are businesses and individuals that have been identified as role models in promoting waste minimisation and are sharing their journey to help inspire others to reduce their waste.

“Zibido Hairdressers in Melville are one of these champions and successfully applied to the Council’s Waste Minimisation Fund and received funding for a set of recycling sorting bins for the salon.

They have also been selected to be an Ambassador Salon for the launch of the Sustainable Salons initiative, a first for the Waikato.

Zibido owner Shannon Dowd said Zibido’s focus on reducing their waste began after hearing about the Sustainable Salons initiative at Hair Expo in Australia.

“With the help of the Council and Mainstream Green and by making some simple changes in the salon, we’ve managed to reduce our waste by more than 90%.”

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