Farmers in New Zealand have achieved a 50 per cent increase in container recycling in the past two years.
According to Agrecovery, the national farm waste product stewardship scheme operator, the latest results show farmers and growers across the country have increased recycling for the ninth consecutive year.
Agrecovery Rural Recycling has provided NZ farmers and growers with national programs for container recycling, drum recovery, and the collection of unwanted or expired chemicals since 2005.
In the year ending 30 June 2015, Agrecovery collected 240,732kg of recycled plastic packaging and 15,495kg of unwanted/expired chemicals.
In the coming year, Agrecovery’s focus is to make participation in the scheme as easy as possible for all farmers and growers. It will be adding five new collection sites, targeting new brand owners and encouraging more industry organisations to adopt recycling recommendations in their supply chain standards.
The program will continue to raise awareness of the proven negative environmental and health impacts associated with burning or burying plastic packaging and chemicals on-farm, while also promoting sensible practices to prevent chemicals becoming a disposal issue in the first place.
“Packaging waste cannot be avoided and should therefore be recycled, however the chemicals themselves would ideally be used as intended rather than becoming obsolete and requiring disposal,” said Adrienne Wilcock, from the Agrecovery Foundation. “This year we’ll be working to share that message with the industry, while still offering collection for those who need it.”