© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Artist battles city's plastic problem

Brooke Hunter
Michael Fox Carving
Michael Fox carving one of his creations  Michael Fox

Local artist Michael Fox believes city council should do more to solve Christchurch's plastic problem.

His company, Objet D'Fox, collects discarded plastic waste donated from the community.

Fox said the Christchurch City Council's plan to ban straws, as well as the Government's decision to ban plastic bags, are slow steps for environmental sustainability. 

"It's like putting a band aid on an arm that's been chopped off."

He said banning only bags and straws wasn't going to help, as people needed to get behind the end of single-use material. 

However, Fox did cite China's ban on foreign waste as a reason for New Zealand's growing sustainability awareness.

Plastic Blue Penguin
One of Michael's creations. Michael Fox

Fox said the council should set up an initiative to re-purpose plastics to useful items, which will eventually reduce the city's plastic use.

He believed the opportunities are endless, but it seems like a topic that people are complacent about. 

Michael Fox said he views re-purposing plastic as "adding value to a material considered valueless once it's been used".

He said the community can help with the plastic waste issue in Christchurch by supporting small businesses which are finding new ways to deal with plastic waste, and helping them to grow. 

Fox is optimistic about Christchurch's future approach to plastic waste. He said that things will start to happen as more people become environmentally conscious.