AGRICULTURAL PLASTIC WASTES
Plastic products are used extensively in agricultural applications.
Traditionally, farmers had few options for the disposal of on-farm plastic wastes, due to the contaminated nature of the plastics, low volumes, and distance to markets. So, plastics may have been left in the fields, buried on site, or burnt (which is now illegal). These methods contaminate our air, water, soil and stock. Plastics left on fields may be consumed by animals; and when burnt, can generate the highly toxic, bio-accumulative poisons dioxin and furans. Chemicals from buried plastics may leach into waterways.
Recycling farm plastics
New Zealand has several companies that accept a variety of farm plastic wastes, which are able to be processed into new products.
- Silage wrap
- Silage pit covers
- LDPE feed bags
- Pallet covers
- Polypropylene feed, seed and fertiliser bags
- HDPE drums.
VIDEO intro to bale wrap recycling - from Plasback.
VIDEO Short videos explain the following recycling procedures.
- Containers and the accepted procedures for triple rinsing, as well as the recycling process .
The following can also be recycled by Agrecovery
- Plastic Wrap
- Crop protection net
Some tips for handling agricultural waste plastics
- Store silage bales on concrete if possible
- Remove wrap before moving bales to feeding areas
- Fully empty all bags – brush or shake if necessary
- If possible, remove crop covers in optimum dry conditions to avoid contamination
- Separate and store plastic wastes as they arise, not after they have blown around the fields.
- Empty, triple rinse and drain agrichemical containers – dispose of contaminated water safely.
- Separate plastics according to type: wrap and film; fertiliser bags; crop nets etc
- Store waste plastics at one site to ease collection
The Great DDT Muster
The project is a nationwide campaign for the collection and disposal of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which include DDT, Lindane, and Dieldrin plus other banned agrichemicals.
Funds for this project are capped so it will be a “first in, first served” basis. There are also additional funds for materials that people may believe to be POPs, but are unable to identify.
View the Facebook page for details of the project, including which chemicals are covered and how to book (until Oct 2017, for the current project).