There is growing concern about the use of plastics and their effects on the environment and human health. In 2017, New Zealand imported over 300 thousand tonnes of plastic resin to be used in manufacturing products. Plastics were also a key component in 49% (by value) of textile and textile article imports (including clothing), 85% of footwear imports, and 27% of fishing rods imports. In the same year, New Zealand exported 41.5 thousand tonnes of plastics as waste. This document sets out how plastics are made, used and disposed of. It also covers how plastics enter the environment and the risks plastics pose to New Zealand and provides some suggestions for reducing plastic pollution.