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Celebrate International Zero Waste Day – Saturday 30 March

The second annual International Day of Zero Waste is happening on Saturday 30 March 2024. Zero Waste Network Aotearoa is inviting everyone across the country to be part of the One Day Waste-Free Challenge to celebrate the day.

“The One Day Waste-Free Challenge is an opportunity for all of us to consider the waste that we create, and what systems we need to prevent waste from being created in the first place. This could be things like a national refill system for our drinks, reuse systems for our takeaway foods, and repairability for all of our devices,” says Sue Coutts of the Zero Waste Network Aotearoa.

“We are asking everyone to try being waste-free for one day and send us a video clip about how it goes, including what kinds of tools might help them to achieve zero waste.”

“Zero waste is really about system level solutions to waste. While we definitely think it is important that we change behaviours when it comes to creating waste, we think it is really important to acknowledge that making zero waste easy and available is the best way to make it the normal way of doing things.”

“We can’t expect people to jump through hoops to reuse, repair and refill things when there are no systems in place to do those things or they are so expensive they are out of reach for most people.”

“The great thing is that there are heaps of business opportunities for innovative zero waste systems. Instead of putting the cost of waste onto consumers and the environment, the real cost of waste should be borne by those who produce it. That way it can drive change away from the throw-away society towards better solutions.”

“There are so many big and small zero waste projects happening all across the country right now. Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste is collecting restaurant food scraps to build soil for growing bananas on a local farm. In Auckland, the city has 12 resource recovery centres to keep thousands of valuable goods in use longer and out of landfill. Repair Cafes are helping hundreds of people up and down the country each week to fix their good stuff with the help of knowledgeable volunteers who pass on their skills. Para Kore is working towards zero waste on marae and in Māori communities. Zero waste projects are helping to build resilient communities in the face of climate change and rising cost of living.”

“We have the solutions to deal with waste. This isn’t hard. We live in a small country and we can do so much better. We need better systems driven by central government and business innovation. Let’s make zero waste a goal for all of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

 

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