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The Role of Individual Action in Systemic Change

By Liam Prince & Hannah Blumhardt


A presentation on reframing the role of individual zero waste action as part of the drive for systemic change. Individual action is often seen as ‘nice-to-have’ but largely ineffective at reducing waste at any significant scale and dismissed as less important than achieving systemic change via government policy and regulation and holding large, polluting companies to account. We see individual and community action as absolutely vital to achieving systemic change – not only does it provide the practical know-how of zero waste works at a consumer level (and barriers to it), but helps to normalise zero waste action in such a way that creates the public mandate for government and business to support through policy.



10:00AM–11:30AM  06/11/20


Zero waste is an approach that envisages a world where nothing is wasted and all resources are valued and reclaimed. This is a significant shift from the current make-use-waste model our society operates under. 


Achieving zero waste will involve shifts in the social, economic and political structures we live in, and the behaviour of groups and individuals. 


This panel will explore a range of perspectives from practitioners across Aotearoa and the Pacific on what’s needed to develop a strong zero waste culture, looking at some of the initiatives they’ve been involved in and key learnings they’ve made on their own zero waste journeys

Hannah and Liam photo credit Solene News

Liam Prince

The Rubbish Trip

Liam Prince has lived without a rubbish bin for over 5 years, alongside his partner Hannah Blumhardt, and together they created The Rubbish Trip to share their experience and knowledge of zero waste living throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand. Liam is also Co-Founder and Events Spokesperson for the Takeaway Throwaways campaign, Deputy Chair of the Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance, and last but not least, a professional jazz drummer and composer. He's currently teaching Musicology at Massey University, and is interested in the roles and responsibilities that musicians, the music industry and the arts in general have in helping to tackle our many global ecological crises.

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