The 2020-2021 Challenge is all about putting the strategies developed during the June 2019 PPPC community workshop into action.

Most of urban Palmerston North City is built on top of Te Kawau Stream catchment and the 2019 PPPC sampling results showed that it is also where the largest amount of plastic litter is accumulating. Te Kawau Stream is therefore the focus of our first, pilot, neighbourhood restoration project. Let's all work together to give it a clean up and some TLC!

In Spring 2020 we ran the first part of the 'Arohatia Te Kawau' project. The programme (shown below) was released at our Launch Event on Monday 31 August and a printable version can be downloaded here.

During September - November 2020, over 500 people were involved in cleaning up Te Kawau stream and helping to restore it's mauri. Our conservative estimation is that over 1.5 tonnes of rubbish were removed. In addition to the clean-ups, nearly 400 people came along to the events that were run in parallel about rethinking and reducing our plastic use. Plus we spoke to over 400 school students about our project and how we can take action together here in Palmy to work towards a future with less plastic in it. It was a very busy few months!

Selected media articles:

Check out the video of the clean-ups made by Runner Films


After a short break over the summer, Palmy's Plastic Pollution Challenge is busy again this autumn! We are currently conducting citizen-science sampling at up to 40 stream sites across Palmerston North city and revisiting the Te Kawau Stream clean-up sites. Ideally getting most of the sites completed by mid April 2021.

Check out our social media pages for photos and stats from our recent clean-ups. These have involved a range of awesome school and student groups, community groups, local businesses and members of the public. Ka pai!

Our remaining sites are now fully scheduled, but if you are keen to support the PPPC events this autumn, keep an eye out below. We may run further public events if any planned group events get postponed due to unsuitable weather.

Korean Students Exploring Alternative Food Packaging

A group of students from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea arrived in New Zealand in January 2020 considering it as an environmentally conscious country with stunning landscapes. However, they witnessed some disturbing levels of plastic pollution in the local waterways during their litter sampling activity at three sites. Their samples were brought to Massey, where they were sorted, weighed and recorded as a practical element of their environmental education programme. The Korean students came to New Zealand as part of an international Massey University PaCE course in business studies which was designed and managed in conjunction with the PPC. They shared some of the findings and recommendations from their involvement in the PPC at the Palmerston North City Library on the 13th February 2020 and you can access their presentations here:

Alternatives for Polystyrene

Plastic Love

Problems of Tteokbokki Delivery Packaging

No Polystyrene no Pain


Events which are open to the public will appear here as details are confirmed. If there are no events showing, and you are keen to get involved, please get in contact with us via