Call for bale wrap changes

Recycle South interim operations manager Steven Nicholson (left) and general manager Hamish...
Recycle South interim operations manager Steven Nicholson (left) and general manager Hamish McMurdo inspect a bag of processed bale wrap pellets at the Southern Dairy Hub, north of Invercargill, last week. Photo: Shawn McAvinue
Calls have been made for bale wrap to be only one colour and for farmers to be discounted for presenting it in a top condition for recycling.

Recycle South general manager Hamish McMurdo, speaking at a Southern Dairy Hub field day in Wallacetown last week, described how he would like farmers to present bale wrap to make the recycling of it easier.

His business was recycling bale wrap from farms in Southland and Otago.

He had capacity to process about 250 tonnes of bale wrap a week.

Bale wrap was sorted by five staff before it was shredded and made into pallets.

Ideally the wrap would be as clean as possible, free of elastic netting, silage tape, metal and stones and clumps of dirt.

"When you are recycling plastic it’s all about purity."

He would like farmers to buy bale wrap in the same colour, ideally green or a lighter colour, as they could make more money from them.

"If you have one bulk colour it would make our life a whole lot easier."

Hub general manager Louise Cook asked if farmers would get a discount if they provided bale wrap in a state for Recycle South to gain best value, such as providing clean wrap and sorted in colours.

Mr McMurdo said currently it charged $150 plus GST to recycle a tonne of bale wrap, about 15 cents a bale.

He was working with Agrecovery to launch a "stewardship scheme" so there would be no charge for farmers to bring bale wrap in.

A farmer asked Mr McMurdo if he was advocating for the Government to allow only one colour of bale wrap to be available.

Mr McMurdo, of Centre Bush, said he was, as it would make recycling much easier and quicker.

"Absolutely, clear would be the best colour."