A top North Island tourist hot spot has committed to banning single-use plastic by 2021. World-famous for its high population of a species of glowworms endemic to New Zealand, Waitomo, draws in thousands of visitors every year and Discover Waitomo is committed to keeping their cave experiences and the destination a mesmerising place to visit.

To minimise the environmental impact of their operations, and ensure sustainable waste management, Discover Waitomo has been steadily bolstering their recycling program. In 2018, the organisation committed to banning two types of plastics and now the company is offering a range of products that are 100% sustainable, ethically sourced and reusable for life.

Their commitment is to ensure that by 30 June, 2021 all Discover Waitomo cafes and gift stores be plastic-free, and all product range will be 100% recyclable and reusable. Some of the range will include reusable bags, reusable coffee cups, stainless steel straws, cutlery and water bottles instead of plastic, beeswax wraps and sandwich wraps handmade locally in Christchurch.

Travis Donoghue, General Manager at the Discover Waitomo, explains that the organisation’s work and its positive effects on Waitomo. “Our policy with the ‘good for a lifetime’ product range at the Waitomo Glowworm Cave retail store is quite simple: we are moving to focus on ethically sourced products and prioritise locally made items”. Donoghue further adds, “If we keep making progress at the same pace, soon our stores will be 100% plastic-free. By eliminating all single-use plastics, we will directly reduce tourism waste and pollution. Our team has worked hard to create a simple yet effective framework for sustainability within our retail business.

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About Discover Waitomo:

Discover Waitomo is operated by Tourism Holdings Limited (thl), New Zealand's premier tourism company. Within New Zealand thl operates Discover Waitomo which includes Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Ruakuri Cave, Aranui Cave, the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. and the Waitomo Homestead.