Saying nope to plastic

Number 8 Network might well put out a rubbish bag this week, the first in over a year.

When Waikato District Council introduced changes to its collection a friend challenged us to a little friendly rubbish rivalry – who could produce the least amount of trash. Our household of one cat, two adults and from time to time, a daughter and her assorted friends, accepted and found it surprisingly easy to reduce our output to – tah dah – one bag in 12 months.

Rubbish jar
Get a jar – it really helps.

Our top tip is to do away with the rubbish bin in the kitchen and replace it with a large, glass jar which only takes stuff that can’t be composted, recycled or reused.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the introduction of soft plastic recycling at local supermarkets. Bread and food bags, rice and pasta, stray bits of plastic – if you can scrounge them into a ball and they’re clean and dry, you can drop ‘em in.

Recycle plasticAll this former trash is sent to Melbourne, where it is turned into playground mats, outdoor furniture and more.  Eventually they hope to process the plastic in NZ.  Here’s a cool video on the process.

Now we just need to buy ourselves one of those pre-paid blue stickers and pop it on the bag – and remember to take it down the driveway on the correct morning!

We all need to use less plastic. And this month happens to be Plastic Free July – a campaign to raise awareness of the problems and amount of single-use, disposable plastic in our lives.

More than a million people around the world will pledge to refuse single-use plastics.

“What we really need is to eliminate problematic plastic from the economy altogether,” says organisers The Story of Stuff.

“To do that, we need to work together to push communities, companies and countries to go plastic free.”

We’ve accepted the challenge, and look forward to reducing our incoming household plastic even more. Every week they will send suggestions for avoiding plastic in daily life, ideas and how to reduce it in the wider community.

Here’s to saying nope to plastic and doing away with other rubbish.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

4 thoughts on “Saying nope to plastic

  • July 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    When the district council started charging for bags we also changed our ways. We used to put a bag out every week and now put one out every 5 weeks or so. I also use the plastic bag bins and the supermarket which saves a lot of rubbish from our bin and started composting. The council said their aim was to encourage people to put less rubbish in land fill and it has worked for us!

    • July 4, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      That’s pretty impressive Sylvia. Keep up the excellent work!

  • July 10, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    We tried your idea of saving plastic waste and have been amazed at how much we saved in just one weekend – stunning. Now I need to look for a bigger jar! Thank you for this very useful information.

    • July 17, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Kate – thoroughly delighted to hear this! Having a glass jar certainly helps to focus the mind, and hand. Keep up the good work. We actually bought ourselves the first sticker to put out rubbish, but still don’t need to do so!


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