Metal dog tags reduce plastic waste

A Wellington dog donning a new, longer lasting metal dog tag. Photo credit: Wellington City Council

Each year in New Zealand, there is an annual renewal process for our dog’s registrations, which is the responsibility of the local town or city council. Typically, this consists of a round disc with the dog’s registration number on it, the registration number changes each year as the new plastic tag is issued on renewal.

But in an effort to reduce plastic waste, a number of councils including Christchurch and Wellington have announced that dogs will be issued with a more durable metal tag starting in 2022. The Selwyn District instituted the tags in 2021.

This means that the dog’s registration number will remain the same with the registration renewing after each year’s fee is paid; the metal tag is designed to last the dog’s lifetime.

In Christchurch, where I live, the council issues 40,000 tags each year which would normally go to landfill. Instead, the metal tags will be recyclable when the tag is no longer required.

In managing our environment, it is nice to think that our dogs are doing their part and I, for one, will happily polish Izzy’s tag to keep it looking brand new while foregoing the annual change of the plastic tag.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand


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