Five new companies have joined Agrecovery from the 1st of April bringing to 50 the number of participating brand owners. This coincides with the 3rd anniversary of the programme’s launch.

“We started the programme 3 years ago with just 12 brand owners and are delighted to now have 50 supporting companies,” says Bruce Emerson, director of 3R Group, programme managers for Agrecovery.

“It’s a great result which shows the strong support that this programme has across the industry. It also makes the programme even easier for farmers and growers to use, as there are now so few brand owners outside the programme.”

One of the new brand owners, Paeroa-based AgriSea NZ Ltd, is a multi-award winning sustainable New Zealand company producing seaweed soil, foliar, turf, pasture and animal health concentrates for agriculture and horticulture.

Winner of the 2008 Waikato Sustainable Company of the Year, AgriSea is committed to supporting sustainable farming. General manager Tane Bradley says “We understand the size of the on-farm plastics problem for farmers in general and are pleased to partner with Agrecovery to be part of the solution.”

Mr Emerson says the Agrecovery Container programme follows a successful, internationally proven product stewardship model for the recovery and recycling of agrichemical containers and is affiliated with the Crop Life International Container Management Group.

“The model works extremely well around the world and, as shown by the level of support from NZ’s leading agrichemical and animal health companies, our brand owners also believe it’s the right model for New Zealand.

“To provide added assurance the programme is accredited to Environmental Standard ISO 14 0001 so everyone supporting or using the programme, from the brand owners and collection site operators through to programme users, can be confident that it is safe and fully compliant.

“This includes the end use for the recycled plastics,” says Bruce. “In the case of the Agrecovery recovered plastic containers, these are made into underground cable covers for telecommunications and electrical cables.”

The new brand owners to join the programme from 1 April are Agrichem, AgriSea, Novartis Animal Health and Venco, as well as animal health products from Fort Dodge, Cydectin and Vetdectin, which are now part of the Pfizer stable of brands.

Novartis Animal Health Australasia head of marketing and technical services Jeremy Cocks says Agrecovery’s goals are consistent with Novartis’ strict waste management strategy to prevent, reduce or recycle waste, or use it as an energy source before the safe final disposal of unavoidable residues.

“We always prefer waste prevention, reduction and recycling before treatment, incineration or disposal, and opportunities for recycling, such as through Agrecovery, are always considered.”

Agrichem’s New Zealand representative Jeremy Anderson says “As a global business, maximizing the company’s environmental sustainability is one of our key strategies. Joining Agrecovery is consistent with our company’s belief of being environmentally and socially responsible.”

Wayne Dolheguy director of Venco, another company to join the Agrecovery programme this month, said the company’s fungicide “Teracep “ and surfactant “Hydracep” are organic, biodegradable and look after the environment so it is essential to also dispose of the empty containers in a responsible way.

“Sustainable viticulture and horticulture are vital to New Zealand’s clean green image and joining Agrecovery is one way we can contribute to this.”
Mr Emerson said it has been a very successful year for Agrecovery with excellent progress in all three programmes – Containers, Wrap and Chemicals.

“We’re grateful for the continued support of the 50 participating brand owners.”