A billion plastic bottles fill Auckland’s Eden Park stadium for Plastic Free July

To mark the start of Plastic Free July, Greenpeace has released a startling video showing Auckland’s iconic Eden Park stadium filled with around a billion single-use plastic bottles.

The short CGI video vividly illustrates the number of throwaway single-use plastic bottles sold in New Zealand annually by corporations such as Coca-Cola.

“To avoid using real plastic bottles, we have rendered the video with CGI, but the picture it paints is very real,” says Greenpeace spokesperson Juressa Lee. “Thanks to companies like Coca-Cola, the world is drowning in plastic. In Aotearoa alone, companies like Coke sell one billion single-use plastic bottles every year.”

Above is a screenshot from the short CGI video released for Plastic Free July. It shows what the 1 billion plastic bottles sold every year in New Zealand would look like if they were poured into Eden Park Stadium.

“Only a small portion of single-use plastic is ever recycled, but all of it inevitably breaks down into microplastic pollution.

“Plastic Free July is when people are encouraged to make an extra effort to reduce their use of plastic. However, while those efforts are important, individual action alone can only ever make a small dent in the plastic pollution crisis. We have to see action from the government to bring about lasting change.

“Microplastics are now found in the ocean, in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, our blood, and even our placentas. It’s everywhere, and it’s not yet clear what health impacts that may lead to, but the oil and plastic industry just keeps pumping it out,” says Lee.

Research shows there could be a link between microplastics in the gut and early-onset colorectal cancer, and there is evidence that chemical compounds linked to serious health issues such as endocrine disruption, weight gain, insulin resistance, decreased reproductive health, and cancer can leach from plastic water bottles and enter our bodies. 

After playing a key role in the campaign to ban plastic bags, Greenpeace is calling for a shift to a reusable drink model and a ban on single-use plastic bottles.

Plastic Free July is run by a passionate team from the Greenpeace offices in Australia and operates across the globe. The Foundation is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC). The Plastic Free Foundation Board oversees our operations and guides us towards achieving our purpose.

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