Campaigners are posting thousands of bottles to Environment Associate Minister Scott Simpson in a protest over plastic pollution.

But the MP says he'd rather protesters emailed him instead of inundating his office with messages tucked into bottles.

The Kiwi Bottle Drive campaign is launching its "Message in a Bottle" call-to-action tomorrow, encouraging people to send a plastic drink bottle, Freepost to Parliament, to show support for bringing back a bottle deposit system, whereby 10c refunds are given when drink containers are recycled.

The campaigners behind it claim this system could slash litter in New Zealand by at least 65 per cent.


"Bottle deposit schemes clean up the environment, reduce litter and create cash for our kids and communities," campaign coordinator Rowan Brooks said.

"New Zealand's once-pristine coastlines and stunning beaches are under serious threat from plastic waste and by 2050 there is predicted to be more plastic in the ocean than fish."

"Meanwhile we have a solution - bottle deposit schemes are an incredibly effective way to deal with our plastic pollution, and we already have the legislation to set one up under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008."

The campaign based its claims on a 2015 Envision report that suggested the reintroduction of a bottle deposit scheme could easily take New Zealand to 85 per cent recycling rates, cut litter by 65 per cent and bring other benefits such as 2500 new jobs in a recycling economy, $26 to $40 million saved in council waste management and carbon emission reductions.

The report prompted 90 per cent of local councils to vote in favour of a bottle deposit scheme in 2016.

The drive would be launching the first bottles from Milford beach tomorrow morning, in conjunction with a beach clean-up, where volunteers would receive 10c for the bottles they gathered.

A second Auckland event was planned at the Flagship Education Centre at midday.

"We are expecting a great turn-out, and are encouraging anyone who finds themselves in the Auckland region this weekend to join us in launching this fantastic campaign," Brooks said.

"This is for anyone who cares about New Zealand's coastlines and communities, or even anyone that has always wanted to send something cheeky to Parliament."

Simpson told the Herald that he understood the "symbolic nature" of the protest.

"My preference would be to receive an email and that the plastic bottles were placed in an appropriate recycling bin at one of the many available recycling facilities.

"This is what I plan to do with any bottles received, after I have read the messages."

Simpson argued New Zealand already had a successful recycling culture.

"The Government provides around $15 million each year to local councils to spend on waste minimisation initiatives such as kerbside recycling schemes or community drop off facilities.

"Today 97 per cent of New Zealanders have access to household or community recycling services."

The Government was also investing millions of dollars into programmes that enable more recycling, he said, with about $13 million being spent annually on the Waste Minimisation Fund to support companies, councils and community organisations.