Shooters are being urged to adopt environment-friendly ammunition after a school science project found thousands of plastic shotgun wads littering Taranaki beaches.
Students from Oakura School stumbled upon the wads, which protect the gun barrel from the shot, in the Tapuae Marine Reserve southwest of New Plymouth and more have since been found as far north as Mokau.
Walking along the hightide mark on any Taranaki beach, it takes barely a minute or two to find the remnants of a spent shotgun wad.
The wads are translucent, about 5 or 6cm long, and look like a sad shuttlecock that has seen better days.
Year 7 student Rueben Kiss, 12, said he just thought they were odd.