Waste Watchers is an on-going initiative run by Plastic Diet. Based at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, we provide dishes for students to use during lunch hours, then wash the dishes at our Waste Watchers stall.
The point of the initiative is to get students (and staff!) thinking about the single-use plastic food and drink containers, and cutlery, they use every lunch time on campus. The University of Auckland Quad doesn't have a dish washing area for the vendors, so there is no 'have here' option available - and sadly, takeaways frequently come wrapped in a toxic plastic package.
In conjunction with student associations on campus, Plastic Diet also helped to negotiate a 'dishcount' system with Quad vendors, through which discounts are meant to be offered in return for the use of a reusable container for food or drink. This incentive is in place to encourage consumers to bring their own containers to uni, especially as Waste Watchers is set up only once a week - if they want a discount the rest of the time, they need to think about their plastic consumption individually!
If Waste Watchers sounds like the sort of awesome initiative you'd like to be involved in, you can sign up to volunteer here!
Right now, the Waste Watchers initiative is in desperate need of plate and cutlery donations in order to maintain and expand our current efforts! If you have plates to donate, contact us now to make arrangements for pick up! We'll also be collecting plates from the 1st - 4th August 2016 on the University of Auckland campus - see the poster below for details!