As plastic waste hits the headlines again, rural recycling programme Agrecovery assures farmers and growers that it offers a complete and sustainable local solution for empty agrichemical containers and drums.
This plastic is collected from over 80 sites and large-scale farms across the country and taken to Astron Plastics in Auckland, where it is reborn as underground cable cover and building materials to prevent rising damp.
Agrecovery’s General Manager Simon Andrew says the organisation’s running an effective business model, because “it’s a closed-loop recycling solution. All the plastic is handled and repurposed as building and roading materials for New Zealanders.”
“Our sustainable solution means we aren’t relying on other countries to take the plastic off our hands. We’re involved from the time the product is manufactured to finding ways for the rigid plastic to be useful again,” he says. Agrecovery works closely with the manufacturers of the products, who fund the programme via a levy paid on all products sold, and oversees the handling and collection of containers.
Astron Plastics Business Manager Steve Mead says that his company is well suited to recycle the 350 tonnes of plastic collected through the programme each year. “We have plenty of capacity to continue to recycle plastic collected through Agrecovery as it continues to grow,” he says.
This means that farmers, growers and other stakeholders can continue to have confidence in Agrecovery’s 100% domestic recycling system.
To solve persistent waste issues brought about by problematic and volatile overseas markets, greater focus needs to be placed on developing domestic infrastructure to cope with inorganic waste. A greater commitment to product stewardship within New Zealand will go a long way to supporting this.
Source: Agrecovery Foundation