It's estimated that on average Kiwis use 168 plastic bottles per capita each year - just 1/3 are recycled. 

That’s 526 million bottles being thrown away ending up in our landfill, rivers, oceans, parks and streets every year! 

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Public fountains can be hard to find and so buying single-use plastic water bottles is becoming an increasingly common site. We aim to fix this by opening up thousands of locations for water refills - for free! 

Some things to make you think:

 - An estimated truck load of plastic enters the ocean every minute.

 - The world’s largest rubbish patch in the world is in the North Pacific – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This floating collection of dispersed plastic ‘smog’ covers an area more than four times the size of NZ, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.

 - Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all rubbish floating on the ocean’s surface.

 - 80% of marine plastic waste comes from the land.

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 Perhaps the best summary of the marketing madness that is bottled water is summed up by this amusing article, worth a read! -> Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad :)

Plastic kills wildlife

One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans - whether by choking, entangling, or slowly poisoning them, or starving them of real food.

Article link - Third of seabirds found dead on NZ and Australian shores had eaten plastic.

44% of all seabird species, 22% of cetaceans (dolphin, whales), all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.

Article link - A taste for plastic.

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Gets in our food chain

On-going research is being undertaken to understand how eating fish that have consumed microplastics can harm human health, but it's not looking good. Here are some interesting articles:

Article link - Plastic 'being regularly ingested' by fish consumed in New Zealand

Article link - From sea to plate: how plastic got into our fish

Article link - Ocean Life Eats Tons of Plastic—Here’s Why That Matters

Article link - Plastic Found in Mussels from the Arctic to China

We'll let you decide if eating these fish is unlikely to come without health consequences!

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Harmful toxins have been found to leach into food and drink stored in plastic.

Synthetic chemicals which are used in the processing, packaging and storing of the food we eat could be doing long-term damage to our health, environmental scientists warn.

Article link - Chemicals leaching into food from packaging raise safety concerns

Article link - 22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It)

 

As kiwi's, we love swimming in our rivers, fishing in our oceans and wandering the streets of our towns.

A massive amount of plastic waste is used and thrown away everyday, and much of it is ending up in those places that we love. We can't help notice the deterioration of our beautiful environment - it's time to make a stand!