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Agricultural plastics recycling up 42% in New Zealand

New Zealand – New Zealand’s recycling service Plasback, which collects plastic waste from farms and vineyards around the country, has amassed 1743 tonnes in the latest financial year – which is 42% more than in the previous period.

‘We’ve seen a 500-tonne increase in the amount of plastics that we’ve collected from around farms and we’ve seen a 600% increase in our high-density polyethylene collections,’ comments the recycling scheme’s manager Chris Hartshorne.

Plasback has been experiencing ‘rapid growth’ as a result of greater recycling awareness among farmers, something which Hartshorne suspects has been driven largely by reports published on agricultural rural waste.

Plasback also collects 200-litre Ecolab and Agpro plastic drums from farms, collection rates of which are also well up on last year. A total of 1483 large drums were collected during the first six months of 2014/15 compared to 1688 during the full 2013/14 year.

Farmers in Southland and Otago typically recycle the most plastic, while the Taranaki region has seen the greatest growth in the past year with an increase of 125%. Hartshorne praises farmers for continuing to embrace recycling – and the NZ$ 40 (around US$ 26) collection fee per bin – despite facing ‘difficult’ market conditions.

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