An estimated 828 million single-use plastic bottles are thrown away per year in NZ, according to RefillNZ. That’s three per week per New Zealander, which adds up to 165 Olympic swimming pools of plastic waste.
This is partly because we consume single-use beverages when we are out and then don’t take the empty container home to recycle. When public recycling bins are available, they are often too contaminated for the materials to actually get recycled.
If we each used a refillable bottle just 1 in 3 times instead, we’d save around 257 million plastic bottles a year, according to RefillNZ.
It’s easy to refill your drink bottle
RefillNZ makes it easy for you to find the nearest refill station when you’re out and about this summer. All the public drinking fountains in Auckland and nearly 200 cafes and council facilities are on the RefillNZ website map and app.
Almost every block in the Auckland city centre has a water fountain or a place that will refill your water bottle for free.
Auckland Council’s pools, leisure centres, libraries, and other facilities have refill stations.
Jill Ford, founder of RefillNZ, explains the impact, “Bottled water is 900 times more carbon-intensive than drinking tap water. It takes over eight litres of water to produce a single bottle.
“In NZ, we’re lucky to have some of the highest quality drinking water in the world. Avoiding bottled water is a great way to protect and enjoy our environment,” says Ms. Ford.
The impact of this simple act is huge for our marine life, according to Ms. Ford, “Recent research in the Pacific showed 97 per cent of all fish species sampled contained micro-plastics and 90 per cent of marine bird species contained plastic. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.”
Bring your own water bottle and use RefillNZ to see what a difference you’re making this summer.