Agrichemical manufacturers are backing new rules around environmental waste.
The rules, announced on Wednesday, mean all manufacturers of agrichemicals and farm plastics sold in New Zealand must be part of a recycling scheme.
It means the onus is on the manufacturers, and not the consumers, to ensure their products can be recycled or disposed of safely.
Mark Ross, chief executive of Agcarm - an industry association representing crop protection, animal health and rural supplier businesses - says many in the industry already voluntarily recycle their waste.
"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 said.
The new regulations designated six products to be "priority products":
- Plastic packaging
- Electrical and electronic products (e-waste)
- Agrichemicals and their containers
- Farm plastics
The announcement is part of the Government's $124 million waste reduction scheme which aims to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill each year.
Simon Andrew, general manager of the Agrecovery Foundation, a not-for-profit trust running a voluntary recycling scheme, said the announcement was a "shot in the arm" for rural recycling.
"Our absolute focus is to support farmers and growers to recycle and reuse the materials to make useful new products," Andrew said.
“We’ve seen huge uptakes in recycling in the last few years. We are now collecting close to half of all the agrichemical containers sold and are making them into useful new products right here in New Zealand. Collecting the other half is our top priority.
"We have the systems in place to do it, we have the backing of industry to do it, and we look forward to making it happen."
Andrew said having some products that can be recycled and others that can't has "long been a hindrance on the farmers who want to do the right thing".
Sage said the Ministry for the Environment would be working with manufacturers and retailers to come up with stewardship schemes that work for them and the environment.