Tuesday, 11 May 2021 09:55

Industry backs recycling scheme

Written by  Jessica Marshall
Fonterra Farm Source group director Richard Allen. Fonterra Farm Source group director Richard Allen.

An on-farm plastic recycling initiative, Plasback, seems to be gaining momentum as the agricultural industry moves to reduce its environmental impact.

Two New Zealand silage wrap importers, Nutritech and Tulloch Farm Machines, have joined the scheme. The Plasback scheme is a voluntary, user-pays system which collects silage wrap and some chemical drums direct from the farm gate.

"Last year, the Ministry for the Environment decided that all farm plastics sold in this country will have to be covered by an accredited product stewardship scheme," says Plasback manager Chris Hartshorne.

"This means everyone in the farm plastics supply chain - from manufacturers through to consumers - will be responsible for recycling leftover plastic products and packaging."

The company says that joining the Plasback scheme is a step dairy farmers can take to meet the criteria for production under Fonterra's new Co-operative Difference framework.

Under the scheme, from 1 June, up to 10 cents of a farm's milk payment will be determined by its sustainability measures and milk quality.

Fonterra Farm Source group director Richard Allen says Fonterra farmers are among the world's most responsible and that is something to be proud of.

"The Co-operative Difference payment is another way we can recognise farmers and grow the value of New Zealand milk by responding to the worldwide demand for sustainably-produced dairy," Allen says.

The 10 cent Co-operative Difference payment is made up of 7 cents/kg of milk solids for achievement in four sustainability focus areas. Once they have achieved this, farmers can gain another 3 cents/kgMS for milk that meets Fonterra's excellence standard.

The four sustainability criteria cover the environment, co-op and prosperity, animal wellbeing, and people and community.

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