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Wellington lifeguard encourages poolgoers to refill during Plastic Free July

Wellington lifeguard encourages poolgoers to refill during Plastic Free July
June 30, 2019

A Wellington lifeguard is encouraging people to think twice about using single use plastic bottles by encouraging them to refill their bottles instead.

Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre (WRAC) lifeguard Breanna Ward, has put together an educational campaign teaching poolgoers about the harmful effects of plastics on the environment.

The campaign will run during Plastic Free July where people will be able to refill their own bottles using water fountains and buy reusable drink bottles instead of single use ones.

Ward, who put together the campaign to educate people about the effects of plastic waste on the ocean, explains “we hope that by teaching people about the impact plastic has, they’ll make the choice to refill the bottles they already have and stop buying single use plastics. This will help stop plastic waste reaching our oceans and killing our marine life.

“Every time you make the choice to refill, you’re also making the choice to pick plastic out of a whale’s stomach or a sea bird's mouth.”

Plastic Free July is an annual event that challenges people to reduce their plastic use.

Believing the event is important because it gets people to change their consumer behaviour, Ward adds “going plastic free for a month is great because it encourages people to stop consuming plastics full-stop. It gets people to focus on making a better choice for the environment right from the start and stop us relying so heavily on recycling.”

She has also teamed up with Wellington-based non-profit RefillNZ to help spread the refill message throughout the North Island in March this year.

RefillNZ want to make tap water the drink of choice by empowering people to ask for free tap water from local businesses.

She explains “over 26 days, a friend and I cycled 1500km from Cape Reinga to Wellington. We spoke to 670 students from 13 schools about the harm plastic is causing. We also signed up 27 businesses to become RefillNZ stations and offer free tap water to people.”

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27th July 2018 - ICC Sydney leads in events and venues sector plastic bottle waste reduction

24th January 2018 - 200,000 water bottles refilled in MSAC water conservation initiative

13th August 2016 - Warning over dangerous bacteria in refillable water bottles

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