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Mina Holder runs to raise awareness for Plastic Free July

Mina Holder took on the Wellington Urban Ultra 2K dressed as a plastic bottle.

Words Emily Bell

The WUU2k or Wellington Urban Ultra 2K, is the capital’s annual trial-running event. Set across kilometres of expansive New Zealand terrain, competitors take part in either a 43km marathon or a 62km ultra-marathon. It’s an endurance event that’s not for the faint hearted. To raise awareness about cutting single-use plastics out of our lives, relief teacher Mina Holder, embarked on the run dressed from head to toe as a plastic bottle.

“I decided to run dressed as a plastic bottle to start positive conversations about always carrying a bottle with you, and making refilling a habit, instead of buying a new one each time you want a drink,” Mina says.

It all began when Mina became determined to reduce plastic use after experiencing the impact that plastic waste has on local marine life.

“I have a deep love of marine life and I help monitor nesting boxes of our local little blue penguins. I’ve been deeply saddened by how much plastic I have found both in and around the penguins’ nests.”

After reading that one million plastic bottles are sold every minute worldwide, Mina believes changing our daily behaviour towards plastic will send a message to large companies that they need to change.

“Coca Cola alone produce enough bottles each year that could wrap around the world 700 times. We need to voice our concerns and ask companies why they’re using so much plastic while taking no responsibility for where their packaging ends up,” Mina explains. “Collectively we can dramatically impact consumer demand, tell companies it’s not ok, and choose to stop buying single-use plastic products”

To spread the refill message during Plastic Free July, an annual event that challenges people to reduce their plastic use, Mina teamed up with Wellington-based non-profit RefillNZ. Jill Ford, founder of RefillNZ, knows getting the community involved will help people make the choice to refill easier.

“We want to make tap water the drink of choice by empowering people to ask for free tap water from local businesses. If you see a business with our logo in the window, you can pop in and get a free refill.”

The WUU2k race took place on 13th July 2019.

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