Businesses and interested groups are opting into a local campaign run by the SEA LIFE Trust to cut their use of plastic. Ōrākei Local Board is supporting the project, which kicked off during Conservation Week in September.
At the launch on 17 September at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, eight businesses signed up and more are expected to join throughout the campaign. Guests were invited to network, listen to speakers and share ideas.
To protect sea life from plastic debris in the long term, SEA LIFE Trust will be encouraging participants to make small changes that have bigger follow-on effects.
On display were eco-friendly packaging and products such as spoons, cups and straws that can be composted rather than going straight to landfill, or ending up in the environment. These were kindly donated by Innocent Packaging, the Rubbish Whisperer and Stone and Paper Packaging.
Strong local interest
Emma Ferguson, a committee member of the SEA LIFE Trust, says there is keen interest from businesses.
“They are already working towards more sustainable practices – they are just looking for support. This is a way for them to join a community and see that together they are making a difference.”
Those who opted in at the launch are Akarana Marine Sports Charitable Trust, Karishma Design, Sea Cow, The Shoe Lounge, Ben & Jerry’s, Mortimer Hirst, Crisp Home and Wear and Tamaki Ride.
Ōrākei Local Board Chair Kit Parkinson stressed the importance of looking forward in safeguarding the oceans and waterways for future generations.
“We have a very receptive group of businesses in Ōrākei who understand how vital the environment is to business and tourism. It was fantastic to have people signing up on the first day.”
Three months of support
Once participants have signed up, a dedicated SEA LIFE Trust representative will work with them for three months to choose one or more ways to take action. As more groups join the movement, the support will begin from whenever they join. The maximum intake will be 25 sign-ups.
“This framework allows time for businesses to use up old stock and start to see results,” says Emma Ferguson.
“We’re confident that they’ll continue with their new practices beyond the campaign.”
The Trust will be measuring the reduction in plastic for each business and awarding certificates.