Denise Roche

Waste-free challenge, day 5: The joys of having a big handbag

by Denise Roche

I’m travelling around with a bagful of stuff that I have to dispose of properly when I get home.

This is because although many towns and cities have public place recycling bins that cater for plastic and aluminium and glass, and very few of them are for waste paper. And everywhere I go I seem to attract waste paper. I accumulated about 5 paper slips from those single serve sugars in cafés until I decided to do without. I’ve got folded up paper bags from buying food on the run (have been choosing food that doesn’t come in plastic wrapping) and I’ve lost count of the serviettes I’ve ended up with that are keeping company with the newspapers I’ve read. I’ve also been travelling with my food waste (mostly banana skins) in a reusable plastic container.

Carting this stuff around is one of the more unpleasant aspects of this challenge. It makes it difficult to recycle or compost this stuff.

Auckland airport has no public recycling bins. Just rubbish bins.

Auckland airport has no public recycling bins. Just rubbish bins.Brendan giving me a 50 cent discount with my coffee

If we want to change people’s attitudes to waste we definitely need to make it easier for people to do the right thing. That means – as a minimum – we need a recycling bin next to every rubbish bin so people are jogged to remember their recycling habits.

On a brighter note I have to report that carrying re-usable coffee cups with me at all times has resulted in cheaper coffee. Brendan Mooney from Rocket Fuel on Waiheke offers a 50 cent price reduction for customers using keep cups.

That’s a lot more than the disposable cups actually cost but Brendan says its not about cost – it’s about rewarding good behaviour.

Brendan giving me a 50 cent discount with my coffee

Brendan giving me a 50 cent discount with my coffee

Published in Environment & Resource Management by Denise Roche on Thu, March 27th, 2014   

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