AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Around one million disposable coffee cups go to landfill every minute across the world. One Million. Every Minute. After its success with reducing plastic bag use in the West Auckland suburb, Love Titirangi have their sights set on reducing that alarming statistic.
On Wednesday the 24th of October, they will launch a local Cupcycling scheme, timed to coincide with the International Day of Climate Action – a day celebrating action taken by UN member states on issues to do with climate change. With hundreds of school and kindergarten children, and five local cafes backing the initiative, locals are looking forward to doing their bit to wave the flag for small communities making big change.
Hundreds of school and kindergarten children from across the suburb have decorated fabric flags to make over 100 meters of bunting to decorate the village.
Children in this west Auckland area have been passionate advocates for reducing plastic waste, creating a picture petition, tabled in Parliament by MP Deborah Russell and Chair of the Environment Select Committee in February this year. Children have also been sending in poems this month, expressing their thoughts on plastic waste; the best will be selected on Wednesday the 24th and printed in the local newspaper.
The five cafes will encourage customers to make a dent in the one million disposable coffee cup statistic by providing reusable cups as part of the local Cupcycling initiative.
Says Michele Powles from Love Titirangi “Titirangi locals and retailers have shown they are passionate about reducing waste in their community. Our boomerang bag scheme has proved so popular that the supermarket is planning on going plastic bag free sooner than they had planned. This new scheme is a chance for our local community to make another big change with the small action of refusing disposable coffee cups. Reuse, return, repeat. It’s an easy mantra to remember for shopping bags and coffee cups alike.”
Cupcycling™ first launched in Motueka and in its first year, the scheme saved over 14,000 disposable cups from heading to landfill. CupCycling works like boomerang bags – the customer buys one reusable cup which can be returned to any of the participating cafes and refilled whenever needed. Disposable coffee cups are lined and bound with polyethylene plastic. This stops them leaking or going soggy, but unfortunately it also means they’re difficult to recycle. Someone consuming five coffees a week can produce about 14kg of waste a year!
Launched in 2017, Love Titirangi implemented a programme of providing fabric bags to provide an alternative to single use plastic. Over 6500 bags have been provided for Titirangi locals to use free of charge with local sewers still making more. To celebrate the 24th of October initiative, the Titirangi SuperValue supermarket will be going plastic bag free for the day.