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Campaign to reduce unnecessary plastic consumption

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31,121 plastic bottles collected from New Zealand coastlines in the past five years that otherwise would have ended up in the ocean. This alarming statistic is one that retailer LUSH Cosmetics hopes to challenge this week as it launches a national campaign encouraging New Zealanders to recycle and refill their water bottles instead of purchasing more unnecessary plastic. The week-long campaign (17 – 23 Feb 2014) is being held in LUSH’s nine retail stores across New Zealand and is in support of local charity Sustainable Coastlines.

New Zealanders spent over 60 million dollars on bottled water in 2012. Not only is bottled water 2,000 times the price of regular tap water, but it is also one of the biggest contributors to environmental damage globally. By choosing tap water over bottled water, people are choosing to care for oceans and wildlife, as well as their own personal health and the right to water without paying excessive amounts for it.

From the 17th February 2014, single-use plastic bottles will be banned from LUSH stores nationally. This includes the Sydney and Auckland-based LUSH kitchens and office spaces.

LUSH will be turning its stores into official refill stations, encouraging people to refill their water bottles. Customers will also be able to purchase a limited edition campaign drink bottle with all profits donated to Sustainable Coastlines. Over the week customers are being encouraged to:

  1. Refill – Purchase a reusable drink bottle and refill it in any LUSH store.
  2. Love your Coast – Organise your own clean-up through www.loveyourcoast.org
  3. Sign-up to Clean-up – Sign-up to Sustainable Coastlines to receive invites to clean-up events all year round and find out more about looking after our coastlines.

Emma Hart, Ethical Campaigns Co-ordinator says, “At LUSH we believe in not using excess packaging. Single use plastic makes up a huge percentage of waste that makes its way into our oceans, so we have decided to be part of the solution. While we are running this campaign with Take 3 in our shop windows for one week, we are committed to making a longer lasting difference. We have banned the use of plastic beverage containers throughout our business and have turned our stores into permanent refill stations to encourage our customers to refill their reusable drink bottles.”

Camden Howitt from Sustainable Coastlines says, “Over the past five years volunteers have helped Sustainable Coastlines pick-up tens of thousands of plastic bottles from our beaches. We are working on ways to avoid this issue in the first place, and are proud to partner with Lush on ‘Refill not Landfill': a fantastic new campaign that gets people thinking not only about the impacts of plastic bottles on our coastlines, but also how simple it is to be a part of the solution.”