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Are you the solution or the pollution?

Are you the sollution or the pollution?


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Petition underway to ban single use items at Ara’s Institute of Canterbury.

A petition is underway for Ara’s Institute of Canterbury to ban all single use disposable

items, including everything from coffee cups, to plastic bottles and plastic food containers.

In a press release earlier this year, the United Nations Enviroment Program revealed that 89% of the plastic in the ocean was made up of single use items.

Timea Kovacs, who is studying toward a Graduate Diploma in Sustainability and Outdoor Education, wants her fellow students to join her on a global movement to reduce pollution.

Kovacs said being aware was the first step, with plenty of alternative solutions out there, everyone can make small changes.

"For instance, say no to straws. There are cafes out there that offer paper straws… but you only use it for five minutes or less and throw it away.”

Talking to Ara students and staff, we asked for their opinions on the issue.

“It would be mean, The Warehouse Group is already banning it and it’s a pretty big step towards making the environment good … I support that,” said Simi Agafili, studying a Bachelor of Applied Management.

Lily, a cookery student, said: “I think it’s a really good idea, with doing cookery there’s a lot of plastic… we sell some stuff as well so we always put it in plastic.”

“It depends if the plastic is recyclable or not, if it is recyclable and we can have a greater effort towards putting recyclable stuff into recyclable piles, I guess it’s a reasonable effort,” said Benjamin Love, a business student.

Sustainability and Outdoor Education tutor, David Irwin, said: “I think it was a really good idea.”

The New Zealand government right now is exploring banning single use plastics, particularly plastic bags, single use bottles and fast food containers.

“I think Ara could be part of the national movement away from that stuff. We are a big campus with a lot of students, a lot of staff and we use a lot of single use plastic items.”

With more than 200 signatures on the petition already, Ara could become one of the first institutions to take a step in the right direction and help improve our environment.