ProAg supports Plasbacks on-farm collection service

Nationwide crop-packaging distributor ProAg-Wearparts has become the third significant distributor of hay and silage nets, twines, and wraps to join the Plasback scheme in 2022

Family-owned business ProAg has made a commitment to product stewardship by joining the Plasback scheme

ProAg-Wearparts development manager Nathan Wycherley says the company joined Plasback to support its customers and the wider agricultural industry as they work to establish world-leading sustainability practices.

“We’ve been concerned about the lifecycle of agricultural plastic for some time, and today, there’s much more awareness of the issue among farmers and the public,” Nathan says.

“Plasback is currently the only Government-approved product stewardship scheme in the country that deals with silage film. They have invested a lot of money to build up their service. We hope that our support will help them continue to develop a collection service that’s economically viable to our customers and provides more efficient processing of used silage wrap.”

Plasback commercial manager Neal Shaw applauds the leadership shown by ProAg and the other agricultural consumables suppliers that have joined the scheme.

“Now that ProAg has joined us, we have the support of the suppliers of more than 90% of the stretch film and silage covers sold in New Zealand. It sends a clear message to the wider industry and Government that this sector is serious about recycling and product stewardship.”

Neal says that the Ministry for the Environment has set a target date of June 2024 to have a mandatory, industry-wide product stewardship scheme in place for all agricultural plastics.

Discussions about the shape of that scheme are now underway. Plasback wants to ensure any levies applied do not significantly increase the amount that farmers have to pay to cover the cost of recycling.

“Plasback has shown that when farmers and suppliers directly cover some of the cost of collection and reprocessing, it’s possible to provide an efficient, cost-effective service. We want this model to be part of any future product stewardship scheme. Now that virtually all Kiwi silage wrap distributors are part of Plasback, we can advocate on their behalf and on behalf of industry bodies, such as Fonterra, that support our service.”

In addition to ProAg, other companies that have become Plasback sponsors this year are Webbline and Integrated Packaging. Companies that joined the scheme prior to that are Grevillia Ag Tulloch Farm Machines, Nutritech, Donaghys, and Agpac.

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