Recycling spotlight falls on farms

Last updated 06:46 17/12/2013

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Agrecovery Rural Recycling is challenging the primary industry and other users of agrichemicals to recycle more than 200 tonnes of container plastic in the next year in an initiative named "Target 200".

"The programme was designed by the industry for the industry," Agrecovery Foundation chairman Graeme Peters said.

"So the target is a common goal for all users of agrichemical, animal health and dairy hygiene products. That includes farmers, growers, spray contractors, turf managers and councils.

"We're challenging them to meet Target 200 and in the process stop the unnecessary burning or landfilling of containers, still standard practice for many."

According to a recent report by Environment Canterbury, potentially around 700,000 kilograms of containers are burned, buried in a farm pit or stockpiled in Canterbury each year.

"Thanks to the financial support of nearly 60 brand owners, more than 3000 commonly used products are free to recycle through Agrecovery, so choosing the sustainable option that protects the environment should be an easy decision," Peters said.

"We're also challenging manufacturers and distributors whose products are not yet part of the programme to join. Customer surveys tell us that farmers and growers want free recycling for 100 per cent of their containers."

Empty, triple-rinsed containers (up to 60 litres in size) can be taken to 70 collection sites around New Zealand or to local collection events. Users with large volumes, such as contractors and councils, can often arrange on-property collection with Agrecovery. Full details can be found at agrecovery.co.nz.

Started in 2007, the programme has so far recycled more than 650,000kg of plastic containers but Peters said this was just a portion of what's sold in New Zealand.

"This year, the target is 207,000kg and in four years' time we want to collect 330,000kg. This would represent around 50 per cent of all eligible containers sold in New Zealand," he said.

"To meet that target, we'll need every rural property in New Zealand to recycle 4kg of (non-household) container plastic.

"Of course we'd like all eligible containers recycled but we're taking it one step at a time - starting with Target 200." Fairfax NZ

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- The Southland Times

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