Government backs farm recycling scheme

Scott Campbell News

Farmers are being encouraged to recycle and reuse rather than burn or bury thousands of tonnes plastic waste under a new scheme launched by the Government today.

“It is neither clean nor green that over 7,000 tonnes of plastic farm waste, mainly used bale wrap, is currently burnt, buried or left to litter the countryside. We want to work with farmers and their supply industries to develop a nationwide recycling scheme that will enable this waste to be collected, reused and recycled”, Dr Smith announced at the National Agriculture Fieldays in Hamilton.

“We have accredited Plasback as one of the first product stewardship schemes under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. We are today announcing a $130,000 grant from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund to support a nationwide campaign to encourage farms to become part of this nationwide recycling scheme.”

“Plasback is an innovative scheme that enables the collection of bale wrap, agrichemical containers and other packaging waste from farms and enables it to be recycled into new products such as piping and bins at a plant in Christchurch. This funding will help provide an information campaign to farms so the scheme can grow rapidly, with the aim of recycling over 2400 tonnes of waste plastic per year by June 2011.”

“Many farms are frustrated by the lack of options for dealing with plastic farm waste and know that burning or burying waste is not a sustainable solution. Burning is particularly damaging because of the toxic chemicals it releases into the atmosphere. This voluntary scheme is about getting alongside farms and providing an environmentally friendly alternative.”

This grant is the very first made under the new Act and Waste Minimisation Fund. Further consideration is being given to the other 163 applications with announcements due in coming months.