It's green packaging is faded, the logo and images outdated and it's a little dirty but the plastic chip packet is largely intact.

Twenty-four years after it's contents expired, the salt and vinegar chip packet was found in bamboo near a Whangārei highway earlier this year.

Nicholas Connop, the self titled Whangārei rubbish wrangler, uncovered the aged plastic in an area of bamboo on State Highway 1, just north of the Maunu Rd intersection, with an expiry date of June 30, 1994.

The salt and vinegar chip packet, with an expiry date from 24 years ago, which was pulled from bamboo near a Whangārei highway. Photo/Supplied
The salt and vinegar chip packet, with an expiry date from 24 years ago, which was pulled from bamboo near a Whangārei highway. Photo/Supplied

In another find on the outskirts of AH Reed carpark, he found a pile of rubbish which had been obscured by dirt and a tree.

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Among the pile of old food packaging, he found a juice packet which expired in April 1989 and a pill packet which expired in 1991.

He was disgusted but amazed at his discoveries and his message was clear.

"Look, this is how long it's been around. If you just put it in the environment it's just going to sit there."

Connop and his partner, Karen Lee, have created a group called F.O.R.C.E - For Our Real Clean Environment, and have been running Love Whangārei Monthly Clean ups since the start of the year.

The next one is on Sunday, from 10am to noon, and will clean up the berm on Hātea Drive and down into the bushes near the heritage sites.

Anyone who wants to join should meet on the grass opposite the Discovery Settlers Hotel.

Other areas the group has targetted include Raumanga near the McDonald's, Pohe Island and the top of Parihaka.

"We try to find places that get missed."

Last month's clean up was attended by 19 people, the most so far, and tackled the mangrove area along Hātea Drive.

Connop said they collected 350kg of rubbish but are expecting to get even more from Sunday's event.

It event follows hot on the heels of a plogging and palking event on Wednesday, and Operation Clean Streets last Saturday.

Connop is happy to see the growing interest in picking up rubbish.

"It's great to see the passion. Getting people out and into it is the best thing."