Friday, 05 August 2022 13:55

Farm plastics recyclers join forces

Written by  Staff Reporters
Plasback's Neal Shaw (L) and Agrecovery's Tony Wilson want to provide the most efficient and cost-effective means to collect and recycle used farm plastic. Plasback's Neal Shaw (L) and Agrecovery's Tony Wilson want to provide the most efficient and cost-effective means to collect and recycle used farm plastic.

The two main plastic collection programmes in New Zealand’s primary sector have agreed to work together to improve the services they provide farmers and growers.

Agrecovery and Plasback have signed a memorandum of understanding, which aims to provide the most efficient and cost-effective means to collect and recycle used farm plastic.

“Our focus is on finding the best ways to meet the needs of primary producers,” Ag Recovery chief executive Tony Wilson says

“Agrecovery and Plasback have different and complementary strengths and areas of expertise. By working together, we will target our future investments to take farm plastic recycling to the next level.”

The two companies have been collecting and facilitating the recycling of farm plastic in New Zealand for more than 15 years. Both are accredited voluntary product stewardship schemes, under the Waste Minimisation Act.

“Plasback has developed an on-farm collection service for silage wrap and pit covers, while Agrecovery has established a nation-wide drop-off service to recycle agrichemical containers and large drums,” Plasback commercial manager Neal Shaw explains.

“Now our aim is to develop a service that can collect all agricultural and horticultural plastics for recycling.

The two organisations have decided to cooperate at a time when the Government has announced its intention to establish a mandatory, industrywide product stewardship scheme for farm plastics. This is expected to commence in July 2024.

“We want to set up a simple entry point for everyone to get on board, whether they are consumers, other recyclers or suppliers who sell products in plastic packaging,” Wilson says.

This proposed product stewardship scheme will include an up-front stewardship fee on designated farm plastic products, including packaging. AgRecovery and Plasback says they are working with the Environment Ministry to develop a scheme that costs the industry as little as possible, but is still comprehensive enough to collect, process and ship all used farm plastic to domestic and overseas recyclers.

Currently farmers and growers need to deal with some plastics that are not catered for under the current schemes. This is because some businesses supplying these products are not contributing to the cost of their recycling.

“Some companies are working with Plasback and Agrecovery to cover the costs of disposing of their waste responsibly, but others are not,” Shaw says. “The door is open to everyone in the industry to work with us to improve the service we provide.”

He adds that, ultimately, all New Zealand agriculture will benefit from responsible product stewardship.

“If farmers and growers are to attract top dollar for their commodities in the global economy, they will have to prove they farm sustainably,” Shaw adds.

15 Years of Good Work

Agrecovery is celebrating 15 years in operation, with launch of the first container recycling programme back in mid-2007.

Since its inception, it has recycled nearly 3.5 million kg of plastic containers and over 165,000 kg of expired or unwanted agrichemical.

The anniversary was recently celebrated with a special evening at the Grand Hall, Parliament, hosted by Minister for the Environment David Parker.

We now over 100 brands signed up to our programmes with more joining every month,” says chief executive Tony Wilson. “It’s great to see these brands take responsibility for their products and their packaging and ensure a free service for our 16,000-plus members.”

More like this

Recycling 10,000 cow collars

MSD Animal Health New Zealand has partnered with Agrecovery in New Zealand’s first pilot to recycle SenseHub Dairy Collars (previously known as Allflex Collars) used by its dairy farmer clients.

Agrecovery, Plasback join forces

The two main plastic collection programmes in New Zealand's primary sector - Agrecovery and Plasback - have agreed to work together.

Featured

Ploughing Champs success

Sean Leslie and Casey Tilson from Middlemarch, with horses Beau and Dough, took out the Rural News Horse Plough award at the Power Farming NZ Ploughing Championships at Horotiu, near Hamilton, on April 13-14.

Farmers oppose work visa changes

Farmers are crying foul over changes announced by the Government this week to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme.

National

Back to the tractor!

Alliance Group chair Murray Taggart is looking forward to spending more time on farm as he steps down after a…

Machinery & Products

PM opens new Power Farming facility

Morrinsville based Power Farming Group has launched a flagship New Zealand facility in partnership with global construction manufacturer JCB Construction.

AGTEK and ARGO part ways

After 12 years of representing the Landini and McCormick brands in New Zealand, Bay of Plenty-based AGTEK and the brands’…

100 years of Farmall Tractors

Returning after an enforced break, the Wheat and Wheels Rally will take place on the Lauriston -Barhill Road, North-East of…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Crazy

OPINION: Your canine crusader was truly impressed by the almost unanimous support given by politicians of all stripes in Parliament…

More!

OPINION: As this old mutt suggested in the last issue, MPI looks a very good candidate for some serious public…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter