Stop the tide of plastic - make water fountains compulsory in public places
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We want the Government to legislate that all councils must install and service public drinking fountains in 50 per cent of public playgrounds, parks and sports grounds.
Making water fountains compulsory in public places will make it easier to find free drinking water when out reducing the need to buy bottled drinks, reducing the plastic pollution that is killing our wildlife.
Recently a Toroa (Southern Royal Albatross) was found writhing in pain on a beach in the Hawkes Bay, due to having swallowed a plastic bottle. And its not just the thousands of Albatross that die each year, plastic pollution kills 2 marine animals every minute.
In NZ we buy an average of 3 single use plastic bottles every week, most are thrown away ending up in landfill and on our beaches, often because people can’t find free water when out. Because currently there is only one drinking fountain for every 3,303 people and as few as one fountain for every 17,000 people in the worst regions.
So it's easier to buy bottled drinks in single-use plastic than find a drinking fountain when out. Soft drinks are often the cheapest option and the sugar in soft drinks is also killing us, contributing to obesity - which increases the risk for severe illness from COVID-19, Type 2 Diabetes, and dental decay .
An adequate supply of water is an essential community service yet councils have neglected to put in drinking fountains where they are needed with as few as 1 in 5 children’s playgrounds having water fountains and less than 1 in 10 parks.*
Councils need to increase their level of investment in public drinking fountains as they are the ones legally responsible for providing clean drinking water.
A new Crown entity to regulate water, Taumata Arowai is being established. Its range of objectives and functions includes protecting and promoting water-related public health outcomes. Greater provision of public water fountains will help with achieving better public health outcomes.
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In Aotearoa, we throw away an estimated 838 million plastic bottles every year - the equivalent of 165 Olympic swimming pools. A container deposit scheme on its own won't solve the problem. We also need to reduce single use plastic. More public drinking fountains will help New Zealanders to turn the tide on single-use plastic and reduce environmental harm.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are also contributing to New Zealand’s obesity epidemic and having a serious impact on our dental health. Kiwis consume up to six times the recommended daily sugar intake, thanks to the sugar in soft drinks.
SIGN NOW as we have unique chance for new legislation
A new Crown entity to regulate water, Taumata Arowai is being established. It has a range of objectives and functions, including protecting and promoting water-related public health outcomes. Greater provision of public water fountains will help with achieving better public health outcomes.
Hon Nanaia Mahuta – as Minister for Local Govt and Hon Kiri Allan -Associate Minister for the Environment needs to ensure that legislation is in place so that all councils are to have public drinking fountains in 50% of playgrounds, parks and sports grounds and this is enforced by the Crown entity Taumata Arowai.
More action you can take - contact the Minister directly - firstname.lastname@example.org
And / or Hon Kiri Allan, Minister for Conservation and Associate Minister for the Environment – email@example.com
�In NZ there is an average of just one drinking fountain for every 3,303 people and as few as one fountain for every 17,000 people in the worst-affected areas.
�Plastic bottles and caps rank as the third and fourth most collected plastic rubbish items in beach clean ups in more than 100 countries.
� Plastic bottles often end up on our beaches and in oceans, where they break down and are eaten by marine life often killing them.
�1 in 3 turtles have eaten marine plastic and 90% of seabirds. Plastic is also getting into the fish we eat.
�Production and transportation of plastic bottles produces carbon emissions
�Plastic is predicted to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050.
�Kiwis consume approximately 73 litres of fizzy drink per person, per year.
� The consumption of sugary drinks is associated with dental caries, weight gain and obesity.
� NZ has the third highest adult obesity rate in the OECD and one in 10 children are obese.
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