Recycling initiative launched for dairy farmers

Friday, 16 December, 2022 | Supplied by: Zoetis

Animal health business Zoetis is working with Australian dairy farmers and veterinarians to contribute to a greener environment and help local communities. It has launched a recycling initiative for dairy farmers in partnership with TerraCycle, with the aim of keeping plastic waste out of landfill. The initiative sees plastic syringes melted down and pelletised, with the raw material able to be made into new items such as garden beds, watering cans and outdoor furniture.

The program supports the recycling of empty Teatseal Syringe packaging. Teatseal is a non-antibiotic product used to prevent mastitis infections during the dry-off period. It is administered using a plastic syringe that is not recyclable in kerbside bins — which can generate significant plastic per farm depending on herd numbers.

“Teatseal is made from a mix of plastics that can’t go in kerbside recycling. Through our new partnership with Zoetis, we’re able to provide farmers and veterinarians with solutions to divert these plastics from landfills so they can be repurposed,” said Jean Bailliard, General Manager, TerraCycle ANZ.

Zoetis has partnered with 100 veterinary clinics across Australia to enable farmers to return used syringes to their local participating clinic, where they are placed in a recycling box.

In the last three years, the Australian Government strengthened its commitment to ensure the Australian agriculture sector is contributing to global sustainable development goals. Australia produces around 8000 t of waste farm plastics a year, with only a small percentage currently being recycled.

Lance Williams, Zoetis Senior Vice President and Cluster Lead Australia & New Zealand, said following the success of a similar program in New Zealand, Zoetis is “impressed” by the willingness of veterinary clinics and dairy farmers to participate in the initiative.

The program has returned over 495 kg of plastic since its launch, a figure that Zoetis plans to build on to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

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