Aiming for plastic-free town

Ban the Bag Queenstown co-ordinator Esther Whitehead displays a mound of beach rubbish. Photo by...
Ban the Bag Queenstown co-ordinator Esther Whitehead displays a mound of beach rubbish. Photo by Paul Taylor.

Environmental campaigners have shown even picture-postcard Queenstown has a problem with plastics and waste.

A 45-minute beach clean-up on Queenstown Bay yesterday morning resulted in a dirty mound of rubbish including fast-food containers, straws, cigarette butts, plastic drink bottles, and glass vodka and beer bottles.

Ban the Bag Queenstown co-ordinator Esther Whitehead said: "You can see plastic straws are a real problem. We collected hundreds of them.

"They are given out automatically with drinks.

"Our message is not about cleanliness though; it's about stopping using plastics,'' she said.

The beach clean-up was part of awareness day Caring for Queenstown, organised by Ms Whitehead and local Sea Shepherd co-ordinator Rob Dickinson, under the coalition Anti-Plastic Population.

Scores of people visited the Village Green during the day to watch 10 local musicians, including The Wonky Donkey singer-songwriter Craig Smith.

Mr Dickinson and others spoke about making Queenstown plastic-free.

The group is urging supermarkets to stop supplying customers with single-use plastic bags.

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