Thursday, 12 November 2020 10:19

State funding for recycling

Written by  Mark Daniel
Plasback says it will use state funding to buy new waste compacting balers. Plasback says it will use state funding to buy new waste compacting balers.

Having declared in July that all farm plastics sold in New Zealand will have to be recycled or reused, the Ministry for the Environment has made two major grants to help this policy become a reality.

One will help the on-farm plastic recycling scheme Plasback purchase baling and wrapping equipment, so it can transport waste plastic more cheaply, while the second will help the rural recycling programme Agrecovery devise a scheme to collect farm plastics that are currently uneconomical to recycle. 

All farm plastics such as fertiliser, feed and bulk one tonne sacks will become priority products under the Waste Minimisation Act, so will have to be covered by a product stewardship scheme, meaning the farm plastics supply chain, from manufacturers through to consumers, will be responsible for recycling left-over plastic products and plastic packaging.

Plasback manager Chris Hartshorne says the Ministry of the Environment’s Covid Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) is donating $442,000 to improve its collection efforts, and Plasback will match this amount. “We will use the $884,000 to buy three new purpose-built, waste compacting balers, five stationary wrappers, and three telehandlers. We will install one baler in Northland, one in the Bay of Plenty and one in South Canterbury.” 

Hartshorne cites the logistics of shipping loose plastic from Northland to Matamata, where it is currently baled, making the process very inefficient.  A baler located in Northland will help reduce the number of trips made to Matamata by 75 percent. Plasback also aims to keep plastic collection costs from farms as low as possible.

 Plasback also reports that more companies are recognising the value in being part of an accredited recycling scheme, with silage wrap suppliers Grevillia Ag and Nutritech now joining Plasback, so they can support their customers’ efforts to recycle waste plastic.

Agrecovery commercial manager Richard Carroll reports the WMF is contributing $178,200 so that Agrecovery can develop a preferred product stewardship scheme for farm plastic for the Ministry for the Environment. 

This project will bolster existing recycling services for farmers and growers, like the ones Agrecovery provides for agrichemicals and Plasback provides for silage and bale wrap. 

Richard says there is considerable scope to reduce waste and increase the recovery of used resources, resulting in environmental, social and cultural benefits.

More like this

MFE moves to mitigate conflicts of interest

Concerns raised about the serious conflict of interest of a key Ministry for the Environment (MfE) staffer involved in the controversial freshwater reforms has led the ministry to implement a new system to mitigate future issues.

Take stewardship of glass recycling

A young Marlborough producer is encouraging government and the New Zealand wine industry to take ownership of their glass recycling, before they are forced to.

NZ out on its own

New Zealand is the only country actively considering a compulsory price on biological greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from agriculture, the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) confirms.

National

Dry cow therapy minus antibiotics

Taranaki sharemilker Shaun Eichstaedt was the first New Zealander to replace traditional antibiotic dry cow therapy (DCT) with a high-strength…

Changes are afoot

There has been a mixed response by the agriculture sector to the recently released Climate Change Commission’s 2021 draft report. 

Machinery & Products

Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Oat milk sells

OPINION: Fake milk works for some. Fashionable Swedish alt-milk brand Oatly is seeking a US stock market listing that could…

Labour shortage

If you think labour shortage on New Zealand dairy farms is unique to our country, then think again.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter