Thursday 31 July 2014
OPEN MINUTE ITEM ATTACHMENTS
6.1 Steph Borrelle - Petition calling on Auckland Council to make Auckland free of single-use plastic bags
7.1 Penny Bright – Auckland Council financial management and anti-corruption developments
31 July 2014
Auckland City – Free of single use plastic Bags
Submission to the Governing Body – July 31st 2014
I (Stephanie Borrelle) request that Mayor Len Brown and Auckland Council members take action to ban single use plastic bags in Auckland. I am submitting a petition with over 4,000 signatures supporting a ban on single use plastic bags (online ~3400 and hard copy ~800).
The adverse environmental impacts of plastic bags, including production energy costs, limited lifespan, increasing landfill content and inability to biodegrade, provide symbolic and practical evidence of a ‘throwaway’ consumer culture. This culture acts as a significant barrier to sustainable consumption in particular and sustainable development in general.
The Auckland Council has the long term-goal of being the world’s most liveable city, ‘to become the most liveable city in the world, Auckland will aim for the long-term, aspirational goal of Zero Waste by 2040, turning its waste into resources’.
There has been an increasing a focus on sustainability, emphasised in recent public events such as the Auckland Conversation series. In addition to the conceptual shift is the construction of strategic management plans to translate sustainability concepts into actions, such as the Waste Management and Minimisation plan.
“This plan is about reducing the waste we throw into the bin, and about recycling and reusing more. We know that many of the resources we depend on, which we have often taken for granted, are becoming scarce. Yet there is so much we can do to ensure that resources we previously regarded as of no use – such as food/green waste and industrial waste – are fully used, and reused, reducing what we send to landfills.”
– Mayor Len Brown
There is a global movement around eliminating plastic bags from our everyday lives, simply because they are unnecessary and damaging to the environment.
Over 150 cities in the United States have banned to bag, or enforce charges on buying them and have overall seen positive results. Most recently, the city of Fremantle in Western Australia (http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/One_Planet/Plastic_bags) banned single use plastic bags because of evidence from South Australia showing that banning plastic bags helps shift community attitudes to become more environmentally aware. Consumers bringing reusable bags jumped from around six in 10 to more than nine in 10 once the ban was implemented
Industry Support: We have met with the General Manager, and Sustainability Manager of Progressive (Countdown, SuperValue), and they have expressed support of a ban on single use plastic bags, but have said that they would need the support of legislation to implement it effectively without risk to their bottom line.
We aren’t suggesting that we go cold turkey, but we want to see action on reducing plastic bag waste and in a year or two, by enforcing a tax or charge for single use plastic bags and eventually banning them altogether.
We are begging the Auckland Council Governing Body to use this opportunity to make a real difference for our communities, and environment that will be effective today because tomorrow is too far away.
Stephanie Borrelle and Supporters