24 August 2020
Half of all plastic containers and products are designed to be used only once, before being thrown away. While the discourse in urban Australia around single use plastics may be dominated by plastic bottles, straws and shopping bags, farmers are fortunate to not be faced with an additional dilemma: What to do with empty agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemical containers.
drumMUSTER, a recycling program of CropLife Australia’s stewardship initiative, Agsafe, has recycled upwards of 40,000 tonnes of agricultural plastic waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfill, buried or burned on farms.
For over 20 years, drumMUSTER has been transforming plastic waste into useful, sustainable products like wheelie bins, fence posts and garden stakes. In March this year, drumMUSTER celebrated its 35 millionth agvet chemical container collected, an important milestone for one of Australia’s oldest product stewardship schemes.
According to the 2017-18 Australian Plastics Recycling Survey, only seven per cent of agricultural sector plastics are recovered. Of that seven per cent, drumMUSTER is responsible for recycling approximately half, meaning that 50 per cent of all ag plastics recycled in Australia are done so through the program’s 800 collection sites.