ONE of the major suppliers of water soluble nutrients to the country’s horticulture industries, Haifa Australia, is doing its bit help the recycling clause.
The business has signed up to the Farm Waste Recovery (FWR) program for the collection and recycling of fertiliser packaging and is urging other suppliers and commodity groups to jump on board.
Used fertiliser packaging has become a scourge on the landscape and at landfill sites in various areas and FWR commenced in September 2015 to efficiently manage packaging waste disposal for manufacturers; industry operators, producers and associations; and local councils.
The FWR stewardship program effectively helps companies to protect their brands and reputation, as well as maintain a strong commitment to the environment and their corporate and social responsibilities.
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By June 2016, FWR recovered more than 300 tonnes of plastic. In June 2017, this increased to more than 1000t and so far this year, 1700t has been recovered.
FWR is targeting the collection of 600,000 bulk fertiliser bags this season, which would equate to 2000t of plastic – enough to make 10,000 park benches.
Stephen Richards of FWR said bags were not manufactured in Australia and across all industries, 10 million bulk bags were imported every year, amounting to 33,000t of plastic. Most of the bags had either gone into landfill or were disposed of inappropriately.
Mr Richards said FWR sorts and collects manufacturer’s bags for those involved in its stewardship program. Bags collected in south-eastern Australia are then processed in Geelong, while those collected in northern and Western Australia, where there are no local facilities, are processed in Asia.
“In some areas, we are now collecting 80 per cent of the bulk fertiliser bags that are sold,’’ he said.
Haifa Australia is one of the first specialty fertiliser suppliers to join other major companies in the FWR stewardship program and recycling of fertiliser packaging, including Impact Fertilisers and Incitec Pivot Fertilisers, which were involved in an initial successful trial of the program.
Haifa is a major supplier of potassium nitrate and has had strong success in Australia with its Multi-K potassium nitrate, Poly-Feed soluble nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium formulas, and more recently with its specialist Multicote controlled release nutrition products.
It has a strong brand in the horticulture, vegetable and nursery industries, distributing in all states through the country’s major horticultural suppliers and pastoral houses.
Haifa Australia managing director, Trevor Dennis, said the company was pleased to sign up to the FWR stewardship program and recycling of fertiliser packaging to protect its brands and, importantly, the environment.
“The recycling program will help to reduce landfill and also create Australian jobs,’’ Mr Dennis said.
In his role as a board member of Fertilizer Australia, Trevor recently convened a meeting with other specialty fertiliser companies, encouraging them to join the program and help address the issue of mounting fertiliser packaging in landfill.
He also recently met with Jason Robinson of almond company, Select Harvests. The almond industry is keen to be involved in the program.
Mr Richards said he was thrilled Haifa Australia had joined FWR and that Mr Dennis was looking to seize the benefits of its program for the horticulture industries.
“We are hoping to expand to as many organisations as possible and we are looking to work strongly with commodity groups for the benefit of their members,” Mr Richards said.
He said large commodity groups like the almond sector would be able to have their own FWR collection sites.
- Copy supplied by Haifa Australia.