Plastics in agriculture have increased productivity and efficiencies throughout the sector, reducing man-hours on farm and chemical sprays, retaining soil moisture and lowering food production wastage. However, the long-term environmental sustainability of using plastics has rightfully undergone reassessment by farmers, government and the community. Of the many plastics used in Queensland’s agriculture, approximately one-third can be readily recycled, for example, clean plastics such as trickle tapes and plastic packaging. However, plastic products such as mulches and silage wrap are often contaminated with soil and residual plant vegetation, with this contamination accounting for upwards of 70 percent by weight.
For the collection of agricultural plastics to be commercially viable in Queensland, a minimum economy of scale of around 20-25 tonnes is required. With the exception of a small number of large farming enterprises, most farms cannot generate these quantities of agricultural plastics.
In Queensland, a range of used-agricultural plastics are being currently collected by materials recovery company ReGroup. Types of plastics ReGroup can accept and bale in Queensland are:
- T Tape (Clean)
- Dripline- thicker walled irrigation tubing
- Drum Muster Drums (triple rinsed)
- Chicken/bread crates (HDPE) (Clean)
- Tunnel Plastic (film) and pots (used on berry Farms)
- Tunnel plastic in rolls/coils and pots stacked neatly on pallets (or similar) for easy transport.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm Chemical Containers
drumMUSTER commenced in 1998 and is an Australian-wide program for the collection and recycling of eligible non-returnable chemical containers above one litre/kilogram and up to 205 litre/kilogram in declared content in the packaging of crop production and animal health products used for:
- agricultural and livestock production;
- industrial and recreational pest and weed control;
- household pest control operations;
- similar activities conducted by government authorities.
Chemical containers on which the levy has been charged will have the drumMUSTER eligible container logo attached. The logo will appear either on the label, applied as a sticker to the container or label or embossed into the wall of the container. Containers must also be properly cleaned and drained inside and out (including the threads and caps) and have no visible chemical residue.
Chemical manufacturers pay a four cent (4c) per litre or kilogram levy when they purchase eligible products displaying the drumMUSTER logo and in return may deposit the container free of charge to designated collection sites. There are over 800 drumMUSTER collection sites across Australia many of which are co-located at local council waste transfer facilities.
In 2017-2018, the scheme collected 1,957,291 containers across Australia, of which 453,294 were collected from Queensland.
J.J. Richards & Sons Pty Ltd is a proudly Australian owned and operated family business that has been providing sustainable waste management services for over 85 years.
J.J. Richards is committed to providing innovative waste management solutions and raising industry standards. To this end, J.J. Richards provides a true used oil recycling service in order to reduce the reliance on burning oil as the only disposal option for used oil. This commitment has led J.J. Richards to develop a specialised oil collection fleet, and aggregation facilities that are now able to service the farming community of Queensland. J.J. Richards is proud to be working in partnership with Southern Oil Refineries to provide a true lube-to-lube recycling solution.
J.J. Richards is pleased to offer a free used-oil collection to farmers with over 2,000 litres of used oil in Balonne, Goondiwindi, Western Downs, Southern Downs, South Burnett, Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley Councils areas. Contact J. J. Richards on mobile: 0458 123 450 to arrange collection.
Already this year, JJ. Richards has collected nearly 20,00 litres from SWQ farms for recycling.
Eligible oil includes motor-vehicle, hydraulic oil, gear and differential oils. The oil must not be mixed with other liquids or flammables and free from major contamination. Only minimal water content will be accepted.