Ravensdown has been committed to a take-back scheme for bulk fertiliser bags for many years which ensures that all bags that are returned are recycled at our cost. In 2019, more than 116 tonnes of bags were recycled. Once received at a store, used bags are collected and baled by either EnviroNZ or a social enterprise, then sent to an approved recycler for processing into chip and then manufacture into other products. We ask that our one and half tonne plastic fertiliser bags are returned to any of our stores empty, clean and dry, and stuffed into each other.
With waste a key part of Ravensdown’s sustainability strategy, we are also seeking alternative packaging options and recycling options. We hope that single use plastic and export for recycling will one day be a thing of the past and we believe we have a key part to play in this. Currently there is no recycling facility available to process polypropylene in New Zealand but we are supporting trials by EnviroNZ to manufacture baling twine and pipe. We welcome an industry-wide recycling scheme and are part of an advisory group chaired by Agrecovery working in response to the government’s proposed mandatory scheme.
In 2020 we found a number of small ways to repurpose unwanted fertiliser bags including flood protection, collection or storage of other industries’ waste streams and repurposing into recycled tote bags.