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Agrecovery's Green-Farms Product Stewardship Scheme Accredited To Create More Recycling Opportunities For Farmers

In a significant milestone for New Zealand's agricultural sector, Agrecovery is excited to announce that its innovative Green-farms Product Stewardship Scheme (GPSS) has been officially accredited under the Waste Minimisation Act (2008).

The accreditation marks a pivotal moment in the collective journey towards sustainable agricultural practices, emphasizing stewardship and responsible management of primary sector plastic resources.

Agrecovery plans to significantly broaden the range of recyclable plastics covered by the GPSS (Photo/Supplied)

The GPSS is designed to tackle the challenge of farm plastic waste head-on, with a focus on four primary farm plastics waste streams in the first 3 years of the scheme being in effect: agrichemical containers, bale wrap and silage sheets, small seed and feed bags, and large 1T and 500kg fertilizer sacks. The GPSS has also been accredited to incorporate Animal Health and Household Pest and Weed plastic packaging.

Agrecovery Board Chair Anders Crofoot highlighted the collective effort and vision shared across the sector. "Receiving this accreditation is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our team, stakeholders, and the agricultural community. Together, we are setting a new standard for environmental responsibility, ensuring that our actions today pave the way for a more sustainable tomorrow."

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Agrecovery has designed the scheme to include a phased approach to encompassing a broader range of materials over time with plans to significantly broaden the range of recyclable plastics covered by the GPSS in the next 2-7 years. This expansion is a response to the feedback from the farming community and an acknowledgment of the evolving needs of the agricultural sector.

By incorporating many more types of farm plastics into the recycling scheme, Agrecovery aims to address the comprehensive waste management challenges faced by farmers and growers and instil a culture of kaitiakitanga and environmental stewardship among New Zealand’s primary sector.

Tony Wilson, CEO of Agrecovery, expressed his enthusiasm for the accreditation, stating, "This is a landmark achievement not only for Agrecovery but for the entire New Zealand primary industry. Our accredited GPSS underscores our dedication to stewardship and sustainable practices, driven by the demands and cooperation of New Zealand’s farmers and growers. We're looking forward to expanding our schemes and fostering innovation and collaboration to ensure a sustainable future for all."

The GPSS will operate as a voluntary scheme until regulations are in place to ensure all producers of the targeted products participate. Regulations proposed by the industry-led scheme co-design process to support the GPSS would require those selling the targeted products paying levies to enable a free nationwide collection network for farmers and growers.

Nadine Tunley, CEO of Horticulture New Zealand, praised the accreditation noting its alignment with their strategic goals. "The GPSS is a game-changer for our industry and will enable growers to recycle a more diverse range of plastic packaging. It is an example of the necessity of operational coordination and cost sharing to manage the collection and treatment of farm plastics to improve the sustainability of our sector. It is a simple and efficient way for growers to optimise environmentally positive growing practices.”

Dr. David Burger, DairyNZ's General Manager Farm Solutions and Policy, reinforced the scheme's importance to the dairy sector. "New Zealand dairy farmers are committed to reducing their environmental footprint, including minimising plastic waste. The GPSS offers a solution to enable our farmers to progress further along this journey."

Wilson concludes, “The GPSS is a purpose-driven solution to elevate New Zealand as a world leader in sustainable agricultural practices and represents a significant step forward towards a circular future led by innovation and purpose.”

“Agrecovery looks forward to working with the Government on the next steps.”

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