Plastics Recycling Success in Agriculture

2 million kilograms of plastic packaging recycled


12 November 2018 – The need to better manage end-of-life plastic packaging has never been more important as we celebrate National Recycling Week.

It is now well accepted that fertiliser suppliers, local councils and farmers must work together to take responsibility for packaging materials used in agriculture and horticulture.

Ensuring that it does not end up in our waterways and oceans is environmentally essential and a risk management issue suppliers and consumers. Neither to we want it burned on-farm where it can release toxic emissions and leave behind polluting residues.

The reality is that single-use plastics are ending up in the wrong place causing litter or threatening wildlife.

In response it is refreshing to see successful recycling programs that deliver positive environmental outcomes and social benefits.

Stephen Richards, the managing director of Farm Waste Recovery developed a unique environmental stewardship initiative and has been working with fertiliser companies, farmers and local councils to collect and recycle used fertiliser bags.

After three years of operation nationally, it has recycled 2 million kilograms of bulk fertiliser bags made from woven polypropylene. Diverting this significant amount of packaging from landfill is a plus for the environment, farmers and the fertliser industry.

The program results have been very positive with 2 million kilograms of single-use bulk fertiliser bags produced by the participating companies being collected and recycled nationally” said Stephen Richards.

Farm Waste Recovery fills a major gap and is funded by participating companies including: Incitec Pivot Fertilisers, Impact Fertilisers, Soils First, Landmark and Haifa. It also demonstrates that the fertiliser industry and farmers will do the right thing if industry provides practical solutions.

“We are very grateful for the proactive support provided by our key stakeholders and they should feel very proud of their recycling efforts as we celebrate National Recycling Week for 2018” said Stephen Richards.

The bags collected through Farm Waste Recovery are processed and recycled for use in manufacturing other plastic items, including garden furniture and traffic bollards.

Stephen Richards believes a strong collaborative approach between local councils, plastics resellers and the fertilizer companies translates into measurable recycling outcomes and has saved the community over $1.25 million in landfill and waste management costs.

With landfill bans and landfill levies becoming more popular nationwide, there is a need for cost-effective stewardship programs that meet stakeholder needs and expectations.

“The time is right to expand the Farm Waste Recovery program as we develop new processing plants for the recovered material to ensure that recycled plastics are used in the manufacture of new products” noted Richards.

Suppliers, brands and manufacturers using plastic packaging are encouraged to join Farm Waste Recovery and contact Stephen Richards directly to discuss costs, options and opportunities.

To find out where accepted fertiliser bags can be dropped off visit the Farm Waste Recovery website at:


Stephen Richards – Managing Director
Farm Waste Recovery
Mobile:  0499 053 255
Twitter:  @FarmWasteAU

About Farm Waste Recovery

Farm Waste Recovery (FWR) facilitates the collection and processing of plastic waste, in regional Australia. Our aim is to significantly reduce the number of landfilled polypropylene agricultural bags, reducing environmental damage and eliminating industrial pollution of fields, paddocks, waterways and natural habitats. The FWR solution delivers positive environmental outcomes, reduces waste, enables recycling and contributes to the conservation of resources. We work closely with manufacturers, farmers, local councils and regional communities to maximise resource recovery and recycling associated with plastic packaging used in agriculture, horticulture and fisheries. More information: