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Rural recycling programme challenges NZ to clear more waste


17 July 2017

Rural recycling programme challenges New Zealand to clear more waste


Rural recycling programme, Agrecovery, challenges other industries to follow its lead in clearing more of New Zealand’s plastic waste.

The programme will this year recover and recycle over 300 tonnes of plastic that might otherwise be burnt, buried or dumped. “That is enough plastic to cover a rugby field six feet high,” says Agrecovery General Manager, Simon Andrew.

“Agrecovery is a great example of how manufacturers, industry, government and consumers can work together to reduce the harmful impacts of plastic waste on our environment,” he says.

“It would be exciting to see other industries adopt a similar approach to tackling their waste issues,” adds Andrew.

Since the programme commenced, Agrecovery has diverted 1,800 tonnes of plastic from landfill or from harmful disposal practices like burning.

Farmers and growers are able to drop off empty plastic containers, free of charge, at 74 drop off points across New Zealand through the programme. For those with high volumes, on-farm pick-ups can be arranged.

Agrecovery also offers farmers free disposal of large drums and unwanted chemicals.

The plastic recovered by Agrecovery is recycled in New Zealand and sold as underground cable cover.

The initiative is made possible through participating agrichemical brands who voluntarily pay a levy on all product they sell to allow farmers and growers to recycle empty containers free of charge.

“These companies show a commendable commitment to product stewardship and sustainability by helping their customers responsibly dispose of leftover chemicals and packaging through the Agrecovery programme,” says Andrew.

This commitment is in stark contrast to other waste packaging issues such as those facing plastic shopping bags. Andrew says that both manufacturers and consumers need to commit to responsible disposal methods for products and their packaging to clear more waste.

ENDS

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