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National campaign to reduce waste

Environment Waikato is joining with other regional authorities to develop a national marketing campaign to encourage householders to reduce their waste.

The campaign is aimed at reducing the growing amount of household waste going to landfills with simple ideas to reduce waste and raising national awareness of the problem. Environment Waikato’s Environment Committee meeting heard that a key part of the pilot programme was a series of television commercials to be broadcast nationally for six weeks in April and May this year.

The campaign hoped to generate public support for producers taking more responsibility for waste products, both during production and after consumer use. The strategy involves raising awareness and offering solutions in “bite sized chunks” to encourage people to develop new habits to reduce rubbish, personalising the issue and offering practical ideas that were inexpensive and simple.

Key messages included that rubbish did not break down in a landfill, 65 percent could be recycled and 45 percent composted. Every month New Zealanders disposed of 3.4 million tonnes of rubbish, enough to fill a rugby field to more than 30 stories high. Every person produced three times more rubbish than they did 20 years ago and New Zealand was running out of places to put it.

Simple solutions included recycling, composting and mulching, buying products with less packaging and supporting companies which recycles packaging and products. Waste communication officers from local authorities in the Region met this month to plan a regional approach over the next year, the meeting heard.

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