Become earth-friendly this July

Thursday 07 July 2022

Ever thought about trading your takeaway kawhe (coffee) cup for a reusable one? Why not start today!
Western Bay of Plenty District Council is getting behind the Plastic Free July movement this month and is encouraging its residents to take up the wero (challenge) too. 
Council’s Resource Recovery and Waste Team Leader, Ilze Kruis says the District is already taking great strides to cut back on plastics, reuse items where possible and recycle what they are using.
“In the last year alone, Western Bay residents have stopped 3300 tonnes of material from going to landfill, including 1349 tonnes of mixed recycling.
“This July, we’re encouraging residents make little changes to their everyday lives to see if we can divert even more from landfill and make our rohe (District) even more beautiful.”

Plastic Free July Aotearoa, in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment and WasteMINZ, has created resources to help New Zealanders take up the wero.
Some simple swaps for when you’re out and about include trading your plastic drink bottle for a reusable one and taking your own produce bags to the supermarket, or re-using the ones from the last trip.
Ilze suggests that at home, you might want to try ditching cling film wraps for your kai (food) and using beeswax wraps, silicone covers or a lunch box and buying refills for your tomato sauce in a can instead of a plastic bottle.

“No matter what you decide to do, every little bit helps the Western Bay and our planet. If you’re not sure where to start, why not start by sorting your recyclables at home? Doing so will show you which plastics you use most and then you can start changing how you shop. 
“Buying food in reusable glass jars and bottles is a good start. So is buying refills for household cleaners to cut down on plastic waste.”
“Most households are doing a great job with their recycling but there is room for improvement. The most recent SWAP (Solid Waste Analysis Protocol) audit in December 2021 found that around 13 percent of mixed recycling, and 34 percent of kitchen waste was still being sent to landfill.

We’d really encourage our Western Bay whānau who get our Kerbside Collective service to give using their yellow lid mixed recycling bins and food waste caddy a go,” says Ilze. 
If you’re unsure which item goes into these bins, you can head to the Kerbside Collective website and try our handy online sorter at
To view Plastic Free July Aotearoa’s tips and tricks to go without plastics this month, head to