Some plastic articles of clothing are captured in the ‘Plastics and articles thereof’ harmonised trade codes in import data from Statistics NZ, but this does not account for all synthetic fibres imported into the country. Drawing on data from the ‘Apparels’ and ‘Textiles’ harmonised trade codes captured in import data from Statistics NZ, we estimated the weight of synthetic textiles imported into Aotearoa New Zealand as finished products (see figure below). Tonnages of apparels defined as ‘of synthetic fibres’, ‘of artificial fibres’ and ‘of man-made fibres’ and textiles defined as ‘of nylon or other polyamides’, ‘of polyester’ or those coated or laminated with plastics were included (see Appendix 9 for a list of all codes included in this analysis). Note that man-made fibres may include viscose rayon and other non-synthetic fibres, so this is potentially an over-estimate.
In 2018, an estimated 13,000 tonnes of synthetic textiles were imported to Aotearoa New Zealand