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Radio Waatea

06:30pm - 07:00pm
Ed Sheeran

Plastics explosion on par with climate crisis

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A Gisborne woman is calling on Maori to get behind a call to ban plastic shopping bags, and to do what they can to reduce the amount of plastic they use.

Tina Ngata says because of its impact on humans and the environment, especially the marine environment, plastic is as big a problem as climate change, but awareness lags well behind.

Trillions of plastic particles are now in the oceans, getting into the food chain and affecting whakapapa.

She says the problem would become more manageable if some most common uses of plastic are removed or replaced.

"It’s the straws which aren't necessary. It's the single use water bottles that aren't necessary. Certainly single use plastic bags, those top culprits that are easy to cut out of your life and will make a big difference," Ms Ngata says.

She is coordinating the PURE (Plastic Use Resistance Education) tour, which features three global ocean plastics experts.

The tour will finish in Wellington on February 27 with a hikoi to parliament to present a petition calling for a ban on plastic bags.

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