Hutt at Heart
Raquelle aboard aboard Te Matau a Māui.

The perils of plastic pollution

Hear from Raquelle de Vine who has seen the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” first-hand.

Lover and friend of the ocean, Raquelle De Vine, has set her heart on pursuing the conservation of our oceans and protecting it from the plague of plastic pollution.

From reading scientific papers late into the night and dreaming of working at sea she now has over 16000 nautical miles of blue water sailing with Algalita Marine Research and Education aboard the Alguita Oceanographic Research Vessel.

On board she is First Mate, second in charge to Captain Charles Moore, the discoverer of the swirling soup of plastic pollution in the pacific – now known by many as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”

As leaders in the movement to end plastic pollution, Algalita educates and equips local and global influencers with the knowledge and resources needed to ignite true change in business, habits, policy, and beyond.

In November 2016, they conducted a six-month long voyage to and throughout the Eastern South Pacific. The goal was to locate, map, sample, and assess the current state of plastic pollution in the South Pacific accumulation zone. What they found confirmed the disturbing presence of the persistent pollutant, plastic, and that the threat extends to even the smallest and remotest areas of our earth.

Raquelle de Vine.

Back on shore, Raquelle has recently established a South Pacific Chapter of Algalita and says, “it’s really important to provide the tools and experiences for young people to think critically, demand action and be agents for change. Combining my background in outdoor and environmental education with first-hand experience of plastic pollution at sea I hope to inspire and educate the public, especially young people, to think critically, demand action and be agents for change.”

“We’re excited to host Raquelle during Plastic Free July and connect Lower Hutt with the valuable work she has been doing to inspire and educate communities towards a strategic shift away from waste. And through school engagement we hope to empower our tamariki to become future change-makers,” says Programme Development Manager, Lillian Pak.

Equipped with the knowledge gained from the expedition and having seen the perils of plastic pollution first hand, Raquelle is visiting Lower Hutt during Plastic Free July to share her experiences with you, to discuss the relevance to Pōneke (Wellington), and how it will affect you.

Public Talk: The Perils of Plastic Pollution
Where: War Memorial Library, 2 Queens Drive
When: Wednesday 3 July, 6:30pm


We want our community to reduce rubbish by rethinking; refusing, reusing, repairing and recycling so that we have a thriving environment, now and into the future. 

We’ve recently made some changes like limiting our plastics collection to 1 & 2, making our recycling stations plastic-free and the upcoming, nationwide, plastic bag ban. You’ll be hearing more from us soon as we continue to ‘sort out waste’ in Lower Hutt.

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Subscribe to Hutt at Heart – Te Manawa, your monthly email newsletter where you can find out about fantastic things going on across our city and at Hutt City Council.