When trying to tackle an issue as pressing and far-flung as plastic waste, you have to start somewhere.
And often, that somewhere is your own home.
For Fertco, it’s no different. It all starts on the factory floor.
“Sustainability has always been really important to Fertco,” our commercial manager Chris Lees says.
“We've got a reputation for a wide range of organic fertiliser products, as well as slow-release conventional products, so our customers expect us to behave in a sustainable manner.”
That, of course, includes introducing new measures to reduce plastic waste in the supply chain.
Fertco is unfortunately often left with plastic bags at the factory after buying in fertiliser products. Historically, those bags would have gone to landfill.
“And that’s just not acceptable anymore,” Chris says.
He says Fertco wants to reduce the amount of plastic waste that is going to landfill by recycling those leftover bags.
The company has invested in a Mil-tek hydraulic waste baling machine for the Mount Maunganui factory, which will transform the loose plastic bags into 300kg bales that will then be taken away by a third party for recycling.
And this is just the start.
All going well, Fertco is keen to invest in more machines in the future, to bale and recycle waste plastic bags at all factory sites, both in the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato.
“I think it's what we need to be doing, as a responsible fertiliser company. I think we need to take ownership of the waste that we're creating, and then come up with a solution for our customers,” Chris says.
He says one future objective for Fertco is to be able to also take back fertiliser bags from farmers and growers, bale them, and have them recycled on our customers’ behalf.
"We're not looking to make any money out of this venture, it is really just the right thing to be doing,” Chris says.