$1.25m boost for recycling farm plastic

Joe Junior, Quality Equipment, Peter Hay, Ravensdown, Wayne Plummer, EnviroNZ, Hon Scott Simpson, Associate Minister for the Environment, and Greg Delaney, Ballance, mark the recent announcement that EnviroNZ’s plastic extrusion plant in Christchurch is to be recommissioned.

The grant of $1.25 million from the government’s Waste Minimisation Fund to support the upgrade and recommissioning of EnviroNZ’s plastic extrusion plant in

Christchurch is good news for rural communities.

Originally acquired as part of EnviroNZ’s purchase of Christchurch-based Mastagard in 2014, the plant has been mothballed since 2012.

The new financial support will enable the plant to recycle more than 1000 tonnes of woven polypropylene bulk fertiliser bags into high quality polypropylene pellets each year. The pellets will then be used by New Zealand companies to make locally manufactured products, such as irrigation tubing and rope.

By establishing essential infrastructure in New Zealand to recycle the used bags, EnviroNZ will help to reduce the quantity of woven polypropylene bulk fertiliser bags currently being disposed of on-farm, which can have a long-term negative impact on the environment. It will also reduce the number of bags shipped overseas for recycling.

Fertiliser manufacturers and distributors Ballance and Ravensdown produce about 1 million single-use bulk fertiliser bags, together weighing approximately 3000 tonnes, per year. EnviroNZ has worked with Ballance and Ravensdown to establish a successful collection system to recover these bags from farms and farmers are now sending on average 100 tonnes of bags a month for recycling.

To date the collected bags had been baled and stored, waiting to be exported offshore. Now, once the upgrade and re-commissioning of EnviroNZ’s plastics recycling plant is completed, they will be able to be processed in New Zealand.

As a result of this funding, Envirowaste will install additional bulk fertiliser bag processing and storage equipment, such as a shredder, wash plant, blowers and silos.

It’s exciting to see EnviroNZ working with other New Zealand companies to recycle these bags in an environmentally safe way, and at the same time provide a primary source of material to another industry. Recycling and minimising waste is a key strategy for protecting New Zealand’s environment for future generations.

The government’s Waste Minimisation Fund was established in 2009 and is funded by a levy of $10 a tonne charged on waste disposed of at landfills. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.

For more information on the Waste Minimisation Fund visit http://www.mfe.govt.nz/more/funding/waste-minimisation-fund/about-waste-minimisation-fund

For help with your farm recycling and waste email .

  • FREE compost workshop 

Come along and see how easy it is to set up a bokashi compost or worm farm or compost your garden waste.
Where: Eco Education Centre -Ashburton Resource Recovery Park
When: Thursday, August 31, 11.30-12.30pm
All welcome – email: ashburton@envirowaste.co.nz or sherylstivens@gmail.com

Sheryl Stivens, Eco Efficiency