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Waste-Ed team gives out reusable period products – GDC

What period products to use is not an easy topic to stand up and talk about.

However, when Waste-Ed came to Gisborne this month they covered this and other tricky topics to help reduce the waste in our region.

Waste-Ed is a company run by Kate Fenwick, a motivational speaker who travels New Zealand to share some straight-talking about waste – how it doesn’t magically disappear when we put it kerbside – and recycling.

Kate was supported with the Waste-Ed conversations by Programme Co-ordinator Acacia Davis-Pio.

It was Acacia who spoke to more than 700 students from Gisborne Girls’ High School and Turanga Tangata Rite Kura about the Waste Free Period Program.

It’s an initiative that educates students on all the different reusable products that are available to them for their periods.

Acacia’s relatable talk empowered the students to embrace their cycle and make informed decisions on what products would work best for them.

Funded by Council, Waste-Ed gave the schools 300 reusable products including menstrual cups and pads to distribute. They last around four years and can save around 2400 single-use pads or tampons over that time.

Other events from Waste-Ed’s trip to Gisborne last week included a sold-out Foodlovers Masterclass led by Kate and a community workshop that had around a dozen people attend.

They also spoke about waste education to 35 Beetham Village residents and around 70 Council staff.

Feedback from one of the workshop attendees says one of the interesting facts about recycling is that no lids can be recycled.

Ice cream lids, the tops of margarine containers, milk or bottle tops – none of them are recyclable.

Council Liveable Communities Director Michele Frey says it’s because the flat nature of them means they easily get caught up in other recyclables, like cardboard.

“When this happens, the lids inadvertently contaminate that product making it unsellable and the whole lot has to be taken to landfill. Smaller lids are generally a thicker plastic, These lids also get caught up in machinery used in processing, causing breakdown issues and also shorten the life of shredding blades used in processing

“Plus, everything we recycle can only be recycled if it’s clean.

“Recycling is a commodity bought by companies who have a use for it – and no one has a use for dirty plastics or dirty glass bottles and jars these need to be washed before they’re recycled,” says Ms Frey.

“Kate’s timely reminder is that it’s up to us, as the consumer, to ensure that after we’ve enjoyed a product we dispose of it properly – and this means making sure it’s clean.”

After the Waste-Ed event at Gisborne Girls’ High School are from left to right Acacia Davis-Pio, Waste-Ed Programme Coordinator, with students Jasmine Hall, Chloe Carrington and Amiria Rangiuia Lindup.


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