Ruralco have been members of AGCARM for a number of years and fully support this new initiative to reduce the amount of farm waste of agricultural chemicals and farm plastics plus the recycling of other “priority products” to include tyres, e-waste and refrigerants.
Ruralco supports the waste minimising program with Agrecovery agrichemical container recycling stations at the Ruralco stores in Ashburton and Rakaia. We have seen a noticeable increase in the number of containers being recycled year on year. Our commitment to recycling does not stop there, as a business we also recycle and upcycle cardboard, soft plastics and wooden pallets.
Agrichemical manufacturers back the government’s mandate to take environmental responsibility for their products at the end of their useful life.
Agcarm members support the government’s moves to place the onus on them to ensure that their products can be recycled or disposed of safely. The association’s chief executive Mark Ross says “our members have a long history of taking responsibility for their products. They do this by paying a levy on all products sold, so that they can be recycled or sustainably treated at the end of their useful life”.
The industry funds the rural recycling programme Agrecovery which offers farmers alternatives to the harmful disposal practices of burning, burying and stockpiling of waste. Agcarm is a founder and trustee of the programme, “demonstrating a long-standing commitment to better environmental outcomes,” says Ross.
The Associate Environment Minister, Eugenie Sage, today announced that the government intends to make all manufacturers of these products follow suit.
“This is a win for rural recycling as it removes free-riders and levels the playing field for those who already participate in voluntary schemes – as Agcarm members do,” Ross says. It will also make it easier for farmers and growers, who will be able to recycle all products, not just those from manufacturers who chose to offer free recycling and recovery services.
The Minister announced that six products will be declared ‘priority products’ for the establishment of regulated product stewardship schemes under the Waste Minimisation Act. Other products include plastic packaging, tyres, e-waste and refrigerants.
The Minister says that “regulated product stewardship helps put the responsibility for waste and what happens to products at the end of their useful life on manufacturers, importers, retailers and users, rather than on communities, councils, neighbourhoods and nature.”
Other industry initiatives led by Agcarm and its members include campaigns to protect the health of bees and providing farmers and growers with innovative and greener, more environmentally-friendly products to manage pests and disease.