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New waste norms pushed

Zero Waste Network chairman Marty Hoffart. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

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Wairarapa’s Tora Bombora festival will call on party-goers to tidy up after themselves during the anniversary weekend event.

Cassava root plastic bags will be handed out to the crowds, and they will be encouraged to be “guardians of their own waste”, the festival’s director Louis Murphy-Harris said.

“People will become conscious of how much rubbish and how much waste they are using, and they have to protect it and look after it during their time.”

Murphy-Harris also said single-use plastics would be banned, and fans would receive messages before the festival on the best alternatives.

“You do need to provide [attendees] with a platform to, you know, manage their own waste and manage their own sort of stuff that they’re leaving behind.”

The festival takes place on January 17 and 18 and has sold out all 700 tickets.

Zero Waste Network chairman Marty Hoffart said festivals’ approaches to waste could set “new norms” for the rest of society.

“We do a lot of it [event recycling]. It’s a really good way to fly the flag out in the community. Thousands and thousands of people can see what you’re doing. It’s always a good thing because what you’re doing is creating more norms.

“People think it’s normal to do it out at events, and that’s what helps create new norms for society, by people seeing it a lot.”

Away from big events, Hoffart said the best thing people could do was compost food and green waste.

Organic matter counts for a large proportion of landfill, and is a hidden menace, he said.

“People think “oh it’s just a banana skin”. But it is, actually, the most harmful thing we bury. Banana skins and apple cores and potato peelings are worse than burying glass bottles or plastic bottles, or steel.

“It sounds crazy. But when you bury food and organic waste in a landfill, drive over it in a 60-ton compactor and starve it of oxygen, it actually creates methane gas.

“It’s actually one of the most harmful things we bury. People think “it’s just food it will rot down”. But that’s global warming, everyone.”

Hoffart said his preferred method of domestic recycling used a three bin system, for compost, landfill and recycling.

— With rnz.co.nz


  1. I’m impressed that Marty refers to the climate crisis as ‘global warming’ v ‘climate change’. The average small-brained mammal can not differentiate between climate and weather. Go gang go!

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