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We’re supporting local communities in their efforts to reduce waste, save our rivers and protect Papatūānuku

Since the beginning of this year, the Kiwi Bottle Drive Team have been mobilising thousands of people for a bottle deposit system in New Zealand. They even organised people to send their plastic bottle waste to parliament to make a point about plastic.

Almost a billion plastic bottles are being sent to landfill, littered or ending up in our oceans every year. By ensuring effective recycling and reuse of all drink containers with a bottle deposit scheme, we can help stop the wasteful production of new plastic bottles and allow for existing plastic to be reused instead.

Bottle deposits (also known as container deposit schemes) give people a >10c refund on a bottle when they recycle it. This incentive creates a circular economy system that will easily double New Zealand’s recycling rates overnight.

The team handed their petition to Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick with the support of her Parliamentary colleagues MP Gareth Hughes and Minister Eugenie Sage. The petition was signed by 15,540 New Zealanders (including offline signatures)!

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has asked her team from the Ministry for Environment to look into the feasibility of getting a bottle deposit scheme for Aotearoa, which is a great step in the right direction.

The Kiwi Bottle Drive team's role now is to hold the government to account and ensure the work is done.

We also supported Kimberley Collins' campaign to protect the kororā (little blue penguins) on her local beach in Timaru. The Council was considering opening the beach to dog walking. But research shows that dogs pose the biggest threat to kororā across New Zealand. The birds are vulnerable when they walk from their nests to the ocean in the morning before the sun rises, and again when they come in to feed their chicks at night. 1,381 people signed Kimberley's petition and the campaign efforts managed to save the penguins!

We're supporting local communities to save our rivers

We also supported Whakatāne resident Lenae Cable who started a petition to save her local natural spring, after the council granted approval for a corporate bottling giant to expand its profit-hungry factory.

Lenae wants to protect the mauri (life force) of Otakiri Springs. She says the expansion of the bottling plant is unsustainable by creating more plastic pollution in the world and also risks over-extracting the precious spring water.

Almost 10,000 people have signed the petition and 235 of the ActionStation whānau donated to help Whakatāne locals appeal the resource consents at the Environment Court. We’re now waiting on the outcome of the appeal and we’ll help Lenae deliver the petition to the District Council once the result is announced.

We're also taking action for a safe climate future 🌏🌏🌏

In October, we made written and oral submissions to the government to support the banning of all new oil, gas and coal mines and exploration in Aotearoa. You can read Laura's oral submission here.

Collage of volunteers from ActionStation and Thankyou Payroll planting trees

Lastly, around 40 ActionStation members and Thankyou Payroll volunteers came together on a sunny afternoon in Pōneke (Wellington) to plant 300 native trees. This was the last round of volunteers who planted tens of thousands of trees in an effort to bring back the original forest. This was an awesome opportunity for people to connect with others in our community in real life and the opportunity to care for our rivers, forests and lakes together - a true people powered achievement!

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