Wednesday, 12 July 2023 11:55

Saving a million feed bags from landfill every year

Written by  Staff Reporters
Agrecovery’s Tony Wilson and Seales Winslow’s Grant Jackson celebrate the deal. Agrecovery’s Tony Wilson and Seales Winslow’s Grant Jackson celebrate the deal.

More than one million calf feed bags each year could be saved from landfill as SealesWinslow becomes one of the first animal nutrition companies in New Zealand to join Agrecovery.

From this month, farmers will be able to recycle SealesWinslow's 20kg and 25kg feed bags through Agrecovery at no cost. If every bag was recycled, it would prevent more than 1 million or 85 tonnes of calf feed bags going to landfill each season.

The initiative is one way SealesWinslow says it is helping farmers reduce waste to meet dairy company requirements and environmental regulations. The news is timely with an industry wide product stewardship scheme for agricultural plastics expected to come into force in 2024 as part of the Ministry for the Environment's Waste Minimisation Act.

Along with some dairy companies, Fonterra has also signalled that participation in the Agrecovry scheme will be a priority for its farmer suppliers, making it part of its Co-operative Difference programme, which pays farmers a premium for achieving targets around milk quality, sustainability, animal welfare, and health and safety.

"As our global customers continue to demand sustainably produced dairy products and we take steps to do the right thing by our environment, our entire agricultural sector is stepping up to find innovative solutions to minise waste. This responsibility rests with all of us, not just our farmers," says SealesWinslow general manager Grant Jackson. "Farmers already have a lot on their plates, so we want to make the recycling process as easy as possible."

Agrecovery national scheme manager Felicity Mitchell says the company's Woven PP Product Stewardship Scheme plays a crucial role in providing New Zealand farmers with a practical solution for managing this type of plastic packaging.

"The success of this voluntary scheme relies heavily on the leadership of the scheme's founding brands. These companies have all shown commendable commitment by joining the scheme from the outset and taking responsibility for the plastic packaging they put into the sector," says Mitchell.

"Their active participation enhances the scheme's overall effectiveness and reach by inspiring other brands to join. It also highlights the importance of collaboration and shared responsibility in addressing plastic packaging management challenges."

The company's partnership with Agrecovery is part of a larger sustainability project by SealesWinslow to introduce an eco-friendly packaging solution for its 20kg bagged calf feed from the 2024-25 season.

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