National plastics recovery program launched

Thursday, 19 April, 2007

Nufarm has led the way by becoming the first participant in the Agrecovery scheme to hand their levy cheque to the environmental organisation. The handover took place on the official launch date of the Agrecovery program.

Agrecovery is a product stewardship program for the sustainable recovery of triple rinsed agriculture and forestry sector plastic containers. Farm plastic is a persistent and growing problem for farmers and growers throughout New Zealand.

The program will enable farmers and growers to dispose of these plastic chemical containers in a responsible way, provided they are the products of manufacturers, like Nufarm, who support the program.

The program is self-sustaining and provides a long-term recovery solution for agriculture and forestry sector plastic containers. The program is managed by Hawke's Bay-based 3R Group Ltd.

Specially marked shipping containers have been installed at 22 waste recovery sites throughout the country, with on-site staff trained to inspect and receive clean agrochemical containers from 1 to 60 L in size. A further 30 sites are to be opened in the coming months, the target being to have a collection site within 50 km of any major agricultural area.

Agrecovery shreds and bales the collected containers, before sending them to a New Zealand commercial plastics recycler for reprocessing.

The program is funded through a cents-per-litre levy collected by all participating manufacturers ¬- ¬currently over 80% of the industry -¬ on their eligible products.

"From an end user's perspective, this program relieves them of the need for costly or banned disposal methods such as burning or burying, while helping them achieve higher sustainability standards," says Nufarm's Patrick Clement.

"As the industry-wide levy is charged on a volume and weight basis, users can save by buying more concentrated product or by buying in larger, refillable containers which do not attract the levy."

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