New Zealand Dairy farmers looking to recycle a popular preventative treatment used at drying-off will be able to take the used plastic to their local vet for collection.
Teatseal is a a non-antibiotic product that is injected into cows’ teats at drying-off, to prevent mastitis infection occurring.
Maker Zoetis said it had quickly become the most popular treatment of its type, but the plastic syringes used for the treatment could quickly add up.
The company has partnered with 67 vet clinics nationwide to act as collection points for the tubes, which would then be sent to Future Post to recycle into farm products.
Zoetis dairy product manager Natalie Bunn said the scheme was now in its second year, and was proving popular.
“Last year we filled the equivalent of 12,744 kgs of plastic, which was just a really awesome effort, because we rolled this scheme out pretty early on and we noticed that farmers and vets were so keen to get on board and essentially help to do the right thing.
“So, it was a fantastic result but I’m sure this year we’re going to be building on that, because we’ve already seen an increase and in registrations.
“The collections haven’t yet started, but just in the past few days I have been getting plenty of emails saying people have got full bags ready to be picked up.”
Working with agri-plastics recycling company Plasback, who provided the bins for collection, Bunn was hoping to save most of the estimated five million Teatseal tubes headed for landfill.
Dairy farmers were environmentally conscious, she said, and the company wanted to make it easier for them to dispose of the waste.
“We know that many of them do the right thing and are actively looking for opportunities to recycle their waste instead of it ending up in landfills.
“New Zealand farmers are also under pressure to maintain their social licence by improving their environmental and social footprint. So, we really saw an opportunity here for the Zoetis to help them do that and divert waste from landfill, essentially.”