An on-farm plastic recycling initiative, Plasback, seems to be gaining momentum as the agricultural industry moves to reduce its environmental impact.
Fonterra has teamed up with Kiwi-owned start-up Future Post to turn milk bottles and other soft plastics into farm fence posts — from 100% recycled material.
Fonterra Brands New Zealand’s (FBNZ) sustainability and environment manager, Larisa Thathiah, says the posts are a step forward in farm sustainability.
“This provides farmers with an environmentally friendly fencing option made from the packaging of our farmers’ milk,” says Thathiah. “It’s [cutting] waste or at least turning it into something useful.”
The posts are expected to last at least 50 years.
The managing director of Future Post, Jerome Wenzlick, welcomes the support of Fonterra and he hopes the company will develop other sustainable products for farmers.
“We’re using waste that could have gone to landfill,” says Wenzlick. “This gives us access to a steady supply of raw material from the co-op’s own recycling initiatives, and to the network of nationwide Farm Source stores that can sell the fence posts.
“Future Post is a start-up, but we have plans for new products in 2019 including for non-farming sectors.”
The posts will go on sale in the new year in some Fonterra Farm Source stores in the North Island, and in South Island stores mid-2019.