Love Food Hate Waste is the message Wellington Mayor Justin Lester wants shoppers to take on board. Love Food Hate Waste is a nationwide campaign run through WasteMINZ to help Kiwis reduce the amount of food they waste.
Some 60 councils, including Wellington City Council, are participating in the initiative. The aim of the group is to reduce the environmental and financial costs resulting from food waste.
The initiative was first launched in Great Britain in 2007 and, following its success, was launched in New Zealand in June 2016.
Wellington City Council Waste Minimisation Manager Kellie Benner says the Love Food Hate Waste shopping bags have key shopping tips on them to help encourage people to shop smarter. The reusable shopping bags are also better for the environment than using plastic bags.
“We always say reduce, reuse, recycle, and this extends to the carriers that you use for your supermarket shopping. Reusable shopping bags play a key role in the reduction of single-use plastic carriers being used, and therefore going to landfill.”
Last week, the mayors from Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin publicly asked all New Zealand mayors to sign a letter formally asking the Government for a levy on plastic bags, or the ability for local councils to make their own rules.
New Zealanders use 1.6 billion plastic bags a year. In Wellington, soft plastics have been blowing out of the landfill site and polluting the surrounding native bush and waterways.
In the United Kingdom, a 5p levy resulted in an 85% reduction in plastic bag use.