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Ditching that single-use straw will make a difference

Published: 19 July 2019

A plastic straw may not seem like a big issue, but when you add up the estimated 200 million plastic straws we consume in New Zealand each year, plastic straws create a large problem for the environment.

As part of the Plastic Free July Aotearoa challenge, Auckland Council is encouraging Aucklanders to choose to refuse single-use plastic straws.

According to Sustainable Coastlines, single-use plastics, including straws, make up more than three-quarters of the 1.3 million litres of rubbish they've removed from New Zealand beaches.

Each year Sustainable Coastlines pick up more than 23,200 plastic straws from Auckland beaches alone – they are the ninth highest offender of beach clean-up items. 

It may seem like an insignificant change to make but eliminating single-use plastic straws will help reduce rubbish going to landfill and clean up our local beaches and coastlines.

If you’re a big fan of a drink with a straw, there are alternatives. A number of restaurants and food outlets are using paper straws, or you can always take your own reusable straw.

Choose to refuse is the call to action from Plastic Free July Aotearoa, encouraging us to refuse single-use plastic and reduce our plastic waste. Millions of people from more than 170 countries are part of the global Plastic Free July movement to turn the tide on plastic polluting our oceans, streets, and countryside. 

We’re supporting the global challenge and encouraging Aucklanders to take simple, daily actions to create long-lasting habits that minimise single-use plastic waste.

Find out more about the challenge and receive free tips and advice here.

Alternatives to plastic straws

  • Refuse - just say 'no thanks'
  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Stainless steel
  • Bamboo
  • Hay (wheat stems)
  • Papaya Leaf Stems
  • Edible straw

Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Action Framework

Our climate is changing and the time for action is now!

Tell us if we are heading in the right direction by having your say on Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Action Framework.

To read the framework and have your say, visit Consultation closes on 6 September 2019.

Read more: Waste Environment


Introduction to Composting Courses

Learn the basics of composting at home with online and in-person courses.

Join the Plastic Free July Aotearoa Challenge

Ditch those plastic produce and shopping bags, say no to plastic straws, take a reusable coffee cup and join the Plastic Free July Aotearoa Challenge.

No single-use plastic shopping bags from 1 July

Pack a reusable bag when leaving home to avoid being caught bagless as the ban on single-use plastic bags comes into effect on 1 July 2019.