Plastic Free Wellington

Wellington has already declared a climate emergency, even though it is as cold this winter as ever. Yes, we have had a few nice winter days, but the nights are as cold as ever… the wind bites as much as ever… but the Wellington City Council knows best and have decided we are in a state of emergency. I’d love to see a real emergency… well, no. Scratch that. I guess what I meant was, I would like to see these clowns deal with a real emergency, but it isn’t the councillors who do the hard work when the situation is real and dire, is it?

Councillor Nicola Young recently pointed out that since supermarkets ditched bags, the council itself was likely the largest producer of plastic bags in the city
Southern ward election candidate Laurie Foon said to aim to be a plastic-free city was “an aspirational and bold stand”, but the council needed to be leading the way. 

“An action would be to phase out single use plastics at council venues and events.

“For example single-use drink bottles that are for sale at council venues.” 
Another opportunity was to reduce single-use plastic at festivals. 
“I would like to see this as a main focus for all council and council supported events.” 

Plastic free means plastic free, right? Or does it just mean that the council can ditch the forms of plastic it doesn’t like, but continue to use others?

Sorry, but that is not what ‘plastic free’ means to me.

So for Wellington to be truly ‘plastic free’, it will need to dispose of its plastic rubbish collection bags. It will also need to dispose of its recycling bins because… well, they are plastic.

The council will have to dispose of all microwave ovens, fridges and most of its kitchen fittings in the Council buildings because they are plastic… and they will have to dispose of all smartphones for councillors and staff. They will also have to dispose of their computers, printers and office chairs because… plastic. What about the mayoral cars, and vehicles used by council staff? There must be a Morris 1000 out there somewhere.

Doctors will not be able to give flu shots, issue Epipens or even give out medicines in blister packs or – heaven forbid – plastic bottles.

The hospital will have to get rid of all plastic water bottles for patients, crutches and wheelchairs that have plastic components, and of course will have to stop fitting surgical mesh. They will not be able to supply meals (because they’re packed in and served on plastic) to patients, or have fridges (because they’re built of plastic) for their medication. In the end, it will be simpler to move all surgery to another hospital because too many pieces of equipment in the operating theatres have plastic components… and we can’t have that, can we?

There will be no road cones. No Hi-vis jackets. No roadside Portaloos for construction staff. No toilet seats either… council staff will have nothing to go on.

WCC subsidises Singapore Airlines, but that will have to change. They will have to replace all the seats, trays, handles and pilot instrument panels in all aircraft, including Air New Zealand aircraft. It would obviously be better to just declare Wellington as a place that no one can fly into, or out of, as the same problem applies to the airport. What about all that luggage that is partly or totally composed of plastic? Plastic free means plastic free, right?

Are you with me yet, councillors?

About 7600 tonnes of plastic is sent to Southern Landfill in Wellington each year, and of that, 928 tonnes could have been recycled in Wellington’s kerbside collections.
[Laurie] Foon said Wellington needed to reduce emissions, and getting organics out of the landfill would be a good start. 

Current councillor and Green candidate Iona Pannett said “it’s not easy being green” when everything around her wasn’t. 
She was surprised recently when she was given a straw at a cafe in the CBD – an item largely being abandoned by cafes across Wellington. 

She said the council could make moves to reduce plastic, but ideally everyone would go waste free and stop filling up their bins. 
“It gets you to ask some quite difficult questions about how you’re living.” 


So they’re not really talking about ‘plastic-free’, are they? They don’t know what they are talking about. But if they really want to be ‘plastic-free’, then the hospital, the airport, the airlines, the road crews and the council buildings need to fall into line… along with everyone else.

It will never happen. These guys are just virtue signalling… as ever.

Why do Wellingtonians keep voting in these clowns? Time to vote them out.