About Plasback

What’s the Problem?

Industry estimates are that over 100,000 tons of plastics go onto farms in Australia every year. Less than 10% is being recycled. This includes fodder conservation plastics such as silage wrap, bale net, baling twine, silage pit covers and grain storage tubes.

After use, fodder conservation plastics result in a waste stream that is unsightly, expensive to collect, costly to dispose of and of little commercial value.

        


          

 

The two most common methods of disposal are for the plastic to be buried or illegally burnt. Although inert, it is expensive and wasteful to put plastic into landfill. If the plastic is burnt – it is damaging the environment. Both methods of disposal result in a wasted resource.
Less than two hundred tonnes of this plastic was recycled in 2008. In 2009, the market price for plastic waste declined by 70%, due to the global slowdown. Farm plastic waste is no longer economic to collect.

This plastic waste is now either: staying on farm, being illegally burnt, going into landfill or being stockpiled by councils. No long term, state wide solution to recycling this waste has been found. Until now …

The Plasback Solution

Fodder conservation plastic delivers a range environmental, social and economic benefits to the agricultural sector. However for it to continue to be used, it’s disposal after use must be sustainable.

The Plasback strategy is to create a system all stakeholders can contribute to and suite of products that will add commercial value to a previously valueless farm plastic waste stream. The primary architect of Plasback is Tapex, Australia's leading crop protection plastics supplier. The ultimate aim is to create a cost effective disposal method for farmers, not just for Tapex branded products, but all plastics. This holistic approach will benefit the entire farming community.

The Plasback farm plastics recycling program is designed to be ultimately self funding, unlike levy schemes. Plasback creates a market for this plastic waste stream. The Plasback program involves the collection of a clean segregated waste stream, which is then recycled into a range of lumber replacement products under the Tuff brand, adding value to the waste and helping fund it’s collection.

Initially Plasback is focusing on silage wrap, silage covers, twine and grain tubes, but with the intention to expand into collecting other farm plastics.

Plasback will provide a long term, low cost solution for farmers and councils for the disposal of plastic after use. Plasback can minimise plastic to landfill, minimise environmental damage, ensure the resource is recycled and make plastic use sustainable into the future.

Who benefits?

  • Farmers gain a long term sustainable, solution for plastic waste disposal
  • Councils reduce plastic to landfill
  • Recyclers have a reliable raw material source and market for end products
  • Agri-business can engage in sustainable business practice
  • Everyone closes the loop and cleans up the rural environment.

Background on Fodder Packaging Plastic

Fodder packaging is made from three different types of plastic. Each type has different properties and melt temperatures, which mean they
cannot be processed together. They are:

Silage wrap                 LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene)
Silage covers               LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene)
Grain storage tubes     LDPE (low density polyethylene)
Net wrap                   HDPE (high density polyethylene)
Baling twine               PP (polypropylene)

The largest volume of plastic waste in these categories is produced by silage wrap – estimated at up to 4,000 tonnes pa. 80% of silage wrap usage is on dairy farms. There are approx 8,000 dairy farms in Australia. 67% of Australia’s dairy production is centred in Victoria.
The average dairy herd is 230 cows.* Industry estimates are that a cow will consume up to two bales of silage per year. Each silage wrap contains approx 1.2kg of plastic. Therefore the average dairy farm has over half a tonne of silage wrap plastic to dispose of each year.

*DAIRY AUSTRALIA 2010/11 REPORT

 

Who are Tapex?

Our Vision

"Tapex commit to creating winning partnerships and products through innovation, loyalty and respect for profits, people and the planet."

 

Tapex are an Australian plastics manufacturer and a major supplier of fodder conservation plastic to the rural sector. Tapex are the only manufacturer of baling twine in Australia.

Tapex are a participant in the NSW government Sustainability Advantage program. Tapex are committed to successfully manage for a better environment and add business value through sustainable practises.

Tapex understand they have a long term commitment to the fodder packaging sector and a long term obligation to the products once they leave our premises.

In 2006 we launched our first product stewardship program for silage wrap in New Zealand. We now have more than 1000 participating farmers there collecting over 1000 tonnes of plastic a year for recycling.

In 2010 the NZ program was rebranded Plasback. www.plasback.co.nz. In April 2010 Plasback in New Zealand was endorsed by the Minister of the Environment as the first government approved rural product stewardship scheme. In July 2010 Plasback New Zealand was awarded a $130,000 grant to promote the program to farmers.

In 2010 Tapex launched the Plasback product stewardship program in Australia.

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