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Success in rural recycling programme

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for the Environment

27 May 2008 Media Statement

Success in rural recycling programme

More than 80,000 old and unwanted agrichemical containers have been collected in the first year of a national rural recycling programme, thanks to the Agrecovery Foundation, Environment Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"Congratulations to the Agrecovery Foundation on its first birthday and for the progress made to date in collecting this agriwaste," Trevor Mallard said.

"Used plastic containers sitting in New Zealand farm sheds can pose a risk to the environment and are a waste of resources if they are burned or thrown away. I would like to encourage people to use this recycling programme and help turn their waste plastic into new products."

Agrecovery provides growers, farmers, foresters, and other primary industry chemical users with an environmentally safe way of disposing of their containers.

The Agrecovery programme received initial funding from the government’s Sustainable Management Fund and Sustainable Farming Fund and is now completely self-funding.

"This programme recognises the importance of a ‘clean, green’ environment for the agricultural industry and New Zealand as a whole," Trevor Mallard said.

"So far, 29 of New Zealand’s agrichemical companies have signed up to the voluntary programme.

"I hope Agrecovery’s success will prompt other businesses and industries to take responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products, and so contribute to New Zealand’s aim of being truly sustainable.

"Already, paint, battery and electronics companies have similar schemes and the government is encouraging business to set up initiatives for other products, to provide New Zealanders with more options to dispose of harmful waste.

"The government would like to see this happen on a voluntary basis, but the Waste Minimisation Bill, currently before parliament, will enable regulation to be used when necessary to prevent non-participating business from reaping the benefits but not contributing to the costs."

The Agrecovery Foundation is a charitable trust. Trustees include Horticulture New Zealand, Federated Farmers, Agcarm, Fonterra and Environment Waikato.

The Agrecovery annual report can be viewed at: http://www.agrecovery.co.nz/uploads/61363/files/Agrecover_Annual_Report_2008_1.pdf


ENDS

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