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Earth Needn’t Be Choked With Plastic

Taranaki Regional Council media release
21 August 2008
For immediate release

Earth Needn’t Be Choked With Plastic

It’s an impressive statistic but not one to be proud of: At an estimated 320,000 km, the amount of plastic silage wrap used in New Zealand each year would go around the world eight times.

But it needn’t be a hassle for farmers to responsibly dispose of all this wrap and other plastic material such as chemical containers.

Traditionally farm plastic waste has been burned or buried – but both options present environmental problems.

The Taranaki Regional Council’s Director - Environment Quality, Gary Bedford, says burning plastic releases toxic fumes, while buried plastic rarely stays put unless it is tightly packed and buried deep. And the Council appreciates that burial can be an irksome task for farmers.

“Once it works its way back to the surface, plastic tends to be dispersed by the wind and can end up disfiguring and blocking waterways, damaging plants and harming stock, birds, pets or other animals,” he says.

However, Mr Bedford says it is now easy for Taranaki farmers to avoid choking the earth with plastic. A number of contractors in the region are involved with national schemes to help farmers deal with plastic waste – Agrecovery (plastic containers) and Agpac (plastic bale wrap).

Agrecovery - containers

The Agrecovery scheme covers containers for these 31 chemical brands: Adria, Agronica, BASF, Bayer Products, BioAg, Biostart, Botry-Zen Limited, Dow AgroSciences, Du Pont, Elanco Animal Health, Elisio, Elliot Technologies, Fruitfed Supplies, Greenforce, Gro-Chem, Hort-Centre, Key Industries, Mantissa, Momentum, Nitrolsol, Nu-Farm, Orion, PHlolime, Primaxa, Ravensdown, Schering-Plough, SST, Syngenta, Virbac, Yara and Zelam.

Two collection sites have been established in Taranaki – at the Waitara Transer Station, Norman Street (Mondays 1pm-4pm) and in Hawera at Ingrams Bin and Skip Hire, 90a Collins Street (Mondays 1pm-4pm).

For more information, see the Agrecovery website, www.agrecovery.co.nz.

Agpac – silage wrap

Under the Agpac scheme, containers are provided to collect plastic waste, especially bale wrap. Farmers can buy a bin ($480 + GST) and liners ($15 + GST), then either drop off the full liner ($20 + GST charge) or arrange to have it collected ($40 + GST).

For more information on the Agpac recycling scheme, see www.agpac.co.nz.

Egmont Refuse in Scott St, Hawera, is also accepting silage wrap for no charge on a trial basis. It needs to be contained, for example in urea bags (which also helps prevent further contamination), and should be as clean as possible. So it needs a good shake before putting it in the bags. Egmont Refuse will also accept polystyrene, for a small charge.


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