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Auckland mayor calls for stormwater system overhaul to prevent plastic flowing into ocean

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is on a personal crack down as rubbish dumping continues to plague the country.

Despite increasing fines and new technology, there is still a lot of work to be done, specifically among people and businesses.

"What you are still seeing here is the legacy of plastic bags and that's appalling because they end up in the stomachs of fish and mammals and birdlife," Mr Goff told 1 NEWS.

The Auckland stormwater treatment system collects roughly 5000 tonnes of plastic waste each year, but plenty of other plastic makes its way straight into the coasts surrounding the city. To help combat that, the council wants to upgrade every major storm pipe in Auckland.

"It's going to cost millions of dollars because we are going to have to retrofit the system so that every storm water pipe filters out the sort of storm water rubbish we have seen today," Mr Goff said. 

Increasing the number of infringement fines has been a method used to trying to encourage people to change.

In the last year, there's been a 290 per cent increase in the number of litter infringement notices handed out.

"I would love to see the people that are trashing our environment being sentenced to cleaning up the streets and the parks on their weekends," Mr Goff said. 

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Now ratepayers have to foot the bill for new technology. Source: 1 NEWS