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Glass ban may help change culture

Wednesday, 12 July 2017 10:14pm

pass-on-glass-poster-image
The "Pass on Glass" poster is up in liquor stores around North Dunedin as part of a student-led campaign to eliminate broken glass from the Dunedin's student quarter this Re-Orientation week.

The President of the Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) hopes a self-imposed glass ban issued over Re-Orientation Week will begin to shift the culture of students around broken glass.

With the help of the Proctor’s Office, OUSA has worked with liquor stores in North Dunedin as well as Gardens New World to encourage students to purchase drinks sold in plastic or cans rather than glass bottles during this week’s Re-O festivities.

OUSA President Hugh Baird says the issue of broken glass on the streets has been a focus for his organisation this year.

“We thought that one the best options for dealing with this would be to try and get the students to buy into purchasing plastic and cans over glass and to show the rest of the community that we can look after the area and there really isn't a need for a liquor ban or any of those major actions in the area,” he says. “It doesn’t mean students have to drink any differently, its simply trying to get them to swap out the glass for cans and plastic and hopefully they’ll be able to see the benefits of that.”

"I'm hoping by just raising the issue with students in the area, and showing that such a simple step changing from glass to cans and plastic bottles can make a huge difference to the area and that awareness will have a bit of a shift in the culture when it comes to glass in the area."

Mr Baird says the stores have been very cooperative and proactive.

“They've really come to the party and advertised the glass ban in their stores and also tried to promote plastic and cans over glass in the stores as well.”

He hopes the initiative will be enough to begin a long-lasting behavioural change among students.

“I'm hoping by just raising the issue with students in the area, and showing that such a simple step changing from glass to cans and plastic bottles can make a huge difference to the area and that awareness will have a bit of a shift in the culture when it comes to glass in the area.”

Mr Baird stresses the campaign has been a joint initiative and is grateful for the help all of those involved.

“We can’t thank the Proctor’s Office enough for their help with the issue and the bottle stores themselves. It has been a real team effort that has seen everyone working together which you may not always expect between the University and the bottle stores.”