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Farmers urged not to burn or bury waste plastic

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Nick Smith
Nick Smith

Wellington, June 16 NZPA - Farmers are being encouraged to recycle and reuse rather than burn or bury thousands of tonnes of plastic waste.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said today it was neither clean nor green for more than 7000 tonnes of plastic farm waste, mainly used bale wrap, to be burnt, buried or left to litter the countryside.

"We want to work with farmers and their supply industries to develop a nationwide recycling scheme that will enable this waste to be collected, reused and recycled," he said at the National Agriculture Fieldays in Hamilton.

Dr Smith said there was a new scheme under way and Plaspack had been accredited as one of the first product stewardship schemes under the Waste Minimisation Act.

"We are today announcing a $130,000 grant from the Government's Waste Minimisation Fund to support a nationwide campaign to encourage farms to become part of this nationwide recycling scheme," he said.

"Plaspack is an innovative scheme that enables the collection of bale wrap, agrichemical containers and other packaging waste from farms and enables it to be recycled into new products such as piping and bins at a plant in Christchurch."

Dr Smith said the funding would help provide an information campaign to farms so the scheme could grow rapidly, with the aim of recycling more than 2400 tonnes of waste plastic a year by June 2011.

"Many farms are frustrated by the lack of options for dealing with plastic farm waste and know that burning or burying waste is not a sustainable solution," he said.

"Burning is particularly damaging because of the toxic chemicals it releases into the atmosphere."

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