Awards galore

A massive congratulations to our award-winning friends and Zero Waste Network members in the sector this month. It’s so good to see hard work and good people getting recognition.

WasteMINZ won the Communicating Sustainability category at the Sustainable Business Network Awards for their Love Food Hate Waste Campaign.

Global Action Plan Oceania and Reclaim were also finalists in the Going Circular category.

And Auckland Council took out the Cities4ZeroWaste Award, at the C40 City Awards in Chicago. The awards highlight projects that represent the most ambitious and innovative efforts by cities towards sustainability.

CDS explainer

CDS. We here at the Zero Waste Network throw around these three letters all the time, but its important to remember not everyone knows what we’re talking about (Container Deposit Systems) or why it’s a good idea (increased recovery), let alone how it would work. Thankfully we know some awesome people who are super good at explaining it and have made a great little video doing just that. Gina and Waveney, you guys rule!

The case for CDS is getting stronger

Auckland Council has commissioned a cost-benefit analysis on the economic impacts of implementing a container deposit system in New Zealand.

The report finds:

  • That the benefits of a container deposit scheme are three to six times greater than the costs, with a national benefit between $184 million and $685 million over ten years.
  • That it would boost recycling rates from current rates of 45 to 58 per cent, to between 79 and 82 per cent.

The WasteMINZ Territorial Authority forum has written a summary report which we recommend you having a read of and discussing with any of your council contacts, or your local MP.


Spotlight on ocean pollution

Several important things are happening that will help highlight the problem of ocean plastics in Aotearoa and the Pacific.

A research foundation set up by Captain Charles Moore after the discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – The Algalita Marine Research Foundation – are establishing a South Pacific branch. The Algalita is the vessel who first discovered the north pacific garbage patch – and they are a important champion of reducing ocean waste. Earlier this year they had an expedition to the South Pacific and found a plastic patch roughly comparable to the North Pacific one and tracked a significant amount of NZ waste in it. Check out this article

In February 2018, a visit from two ocean pollution campaigners will highlight the issue. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins co-founded the 5 Gyres Institute which is dedicated to studying gyres and working tirelessly around the world to reduce ocean waste. The 5 Gyres Institute has provided much of what we today know about ocean current behaviours and waste. Marcus and Anna will be speaking in Whaingaroa, Ahuriri (Napier Aquarium) and Whanganui-a-Tara at the Waka Odyssey Festival. They will also be training our ocean voyaging waka crews in plastic surveying so these crews can collect data and raise consciousness across the Pacific islands as they voyage. The first coastal transect of microplastic surveys will occur on board Te Matau a Maui with a crew of East Coast youth in February as it voyages down the East Coast to the Festival in Whanganui a Tara.

Marcus and Anna’s trip being supported by Massey University and the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, along with Tina Ngata – The Non-Plastic Māori. Tina’s facebook page is a good plastic to get updates. You can listen to a great interview with Marcus from a few months back on Radio NZ here.

Resource Recovery Training

Our new training programme kicked off this month in Auckland, hosted by MPHS at their recycling shop at the Waitakere Transfer Station. The two-day course covers zero waste concepts and theory, as well as .

We had a great response from participants who said the course gave a great overview of the sector and that getting to see the practical side of an operation offers important learnings too.

We will be offering the course again in Auckland at least a couple of times in 2018, as well as a second course: ‘Resource Recovery – Management’, which will be suitable for those in management and governance positions and will be held in May.

A big thanks to Auckland Council for their support of this project.