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Plastic-Free Ōrākei project takes off in Mission Bay

Published: 20 December 2018
Staff from Mission Bay's Ben & Jerry's tally up plastic and other rubbish they collected at Mission Bay beach. 

A project launched during Conservation Week in September encouraging businesses in Ōrākei Ward to cut their plastic use is starting to see results.

Ōrākei Local Board is supporting the project run by the SEA LIFE Trust, which signed up eight local businesses to participate during the project’s launch.

Mission Bay’s Ben & Jerry’s is leading the charge with movements towards changing its ice-cream sample cups to a biodegradable material and the introduction of paper straws and bamboo spoons.

Louise Greenshields of SEA LIFE Trust says it has been awesome to have such a well-known company involved in the project.

“The whole team is super dedicated and really aware of the impact that we can have – and the fact that it’s such an environmentally friendly store makes the ice-cream taste even better!” she says.

Over the weekend, the company held the first of a planned series of beach clean-ups at Mission Bay beach.

Ben & Jerry’s staff member Jamie Betts says the clean-up was a great success and hopes to run them monthly in 2019.

“Our clean-up was focused on micro-plastics but we also picked up a whole lot of other rubbish including bottle caps, cigarette butts, old bottles and ice-block sticks,” he says.

Ōrākei Local Board Chair Kit Parkinson stressed the importance of looking forward in safeguarding the oceans and waterways for future generations.

“We’re thrilled that businesses in our ward have really embraced this project and are making moves to shift away from plastics. It shows an understanding of how vital the environment is to business and tourism.”

For more information or to get involved with the project, visit the SEA LIFE Trust NZ Facebook page or email SeaLifeTrustKT@kellytarltons.co.nz