Recycling Week is a good way of celebrating the achievements of our rural communities in working to support the principles and practices of a circular economy, resource efficiency and waste reduction. At Agrecovery, these principles are at the core of programmes delivered across the country every single day.

Our rural communities have made a real and sustained effort to move away from the take-make-waste linear consumption to a circular restorative and regenerative economy. Despite the challenges faced this year with recycling being paused for almost two months, farmers have maintained their resolve to keep recycling and being good guardians of the land. The government has also stepped in to try and help this become the norm for all farmers and growers.

“Given the central role plastics play as an essential tool in today’s agricultural community, we recognise the achievements New Zealand farmers and growers have made, and continue to make toward sustainability in farm operations for present and future generations,” says Agrecovery General Manager Tony Wilson.

“Every year, the number of New Zealand farmers and growers who use the Agrecovery programmes to manage agricultural plastic waste is growing. There’s no doubt that as stewards of their land, they want these programmes to collect empty agrichemical containers, drums and IBCs, so that recycling becomes a standard throughout every rural community.”

With regulated product stewardship due to start in August next year, we are preparing to collect even more plastic.  This plastic is all made into useful new products right here in New Zealand.  Other programmes being investigated will continue to bring more recyclable plastics into the circular economy for processing and remanufacturing.  One project seeks to identify the best way of collecting and recycling more farm plastics like silage wrap and twine as well as fertiliser, seed and feed bags.  This has also prompted many farmers, growers and industry groups to provide feedback on what else can be done in this space.  We value this knowledge sharing and encourage our rural communities to discuss these ideas with us.

We’re also establishing a series of pilot projects to identify and test new ways to manage these materials safely and to avoid disposal in landfill. This includes assessing the options for collecting and processing these plastics.

Through our programmes and other projects, Agrecovery is helping farmers operate their farms sustainably, reflecting best practices in a circular economy, and celebrating the goals of Rural Recycling Week.

About Agrecovery

Agrecovery is a non-profit industry stewardship organisation committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of inorganic agricultural waste. Funded by agrichemical manufacturers, Agrecovery develops, implements and operates programmes that help farmers manage agricultural waste, much of it being some form of plastic. Agrecovery also recovers expired or unwanted agrichemicals and has sustainable and approved methods for disposing of them. Services are available nationwide.

The success of these programmes highlight the commitment of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, councils, and farmers and growers to agricultural environmental responsibility and sustainability. Agrecovery contributes to a healthier environment and a sustainable future by recovering and recycling agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products.