Our Coromandel contributes to keeping NZ beautiful 29 October 2018 A huge congratulations to Plastic-Free Coromandel Town for taking out the Community Group Award at the Keep New Zealand Beautiful awards, along with our new Hot Water Beach toilet winning the Plumbing World Best Loo Award. Photo: Some members from Plastic-Free Coromandel Town. Heather Saunderson, CEO of Keep New Zealand Beautiful said the standard of entries was very high."From the efforts of councils in the Most Beautiful Towns and Cities Awards, to the contributions made by everyday kiwis in our Community Group and Individual Award, every entrant in the Beautiful Awards deserves to be celebrated." she says. “It’s fantastic that our loo has been recognised as the best public loo in New Zealand,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Surfers and swimmers love its timber wave design reflecting the beach, its new changing room with a hot shower and increased number of toilets.” This iconic public toilet facility (pictured right) officially opened just a year ago, visually blending in beautifully with the surrounding coastal environment. It’s located on the forefront of the world-famous Hot Water Beach which sees visitors including overseas tourists, New Zealand visitors and locals. The facility has been purpose built to accommodate high tourism numbers, large amounts of sand and a demanding beachside environment. Low maintenance and easy to clean, this facility ensures an exceptional visitor experience for overseas visitors and locals alike. The Community Group Award recognises and honours a not-for-profit community group or organisation that contributes to enhancing the environmental and social aspects of their region, and shows a strong sense of community spirit. Plastic-Free Coromandel Town was formed late 2017 to inspire and encourage local residents, business owners and visitors to improve the environment by decreasing plastic waste going to landfill, waterways and the marine environment. The Plastic-Free Coromandel Town group consists of a dedicated team of volunteers who raise awareness about the issue of plastic pollution and are making positive moves to encourage the use of reusable alternatives to single-use plastic items. They do this in a way which is accessible to everyone in the community. They want to put Coromandel Town on the map for being environmentally conscious and free of single-use plastics. Plastic-Free Coromandel Town has led a number of initiatives including plastic-bag-free days in Coromandel Town, re-usable bag making with local school children, educational stalls, displays and events with great success and support from the community. The group is thrilled and extremely proud to win this national award. “Our project is nothing without our community, we are so grateful for all the support and we have had so far,” says Kate James, spokesperson for Plastic-Free Coromandel Town. "We would also like to acknowledge all the other wonderful environmental initiatives on the Coromandel, we are just one of many groups working in the region to enhance our environment." They have a wonderful event coming up where they will distribute 500 jute shopping bags to local people just prior to Coromandel Four Square going plastic-bag-free on 1 January 2019. The bags are generously funded by Waikato Regional Council and a Community Grant from our Coromandel-Colville Community Board. For more information find Plastic-Free Coromandel Town on Facebook here.