2 August 2012
Australia’s plant science industry’s global leadership in stewardship has been highlighted again with the release today of an independent survey report concluding that the drumMUSTER program is one of the most successful of its type anywhere in the world.
CropLife Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Cossey commented today, “The success of the drumMUSTER stewardship program is testament to the long-term forward thinking and commitment of Australia’s agricultural chemical companies to environment & industry stewardship”.
CropLife Australia’s wholly owned subsidiary, Agsafe, runs the drumMUSTER program as part of the Industry Waste Reduction Scheme (IWRS). The IWRS is facilitated through a joint venture between CropLife Australia, National Farmers Federation, Animal Health Alliance Australia, Veterinary Manufacturers and Distributors Association the Australian Local Government Association.
The program has been responsible for over 2 million farm chemical containers being returned through the drumMUSTER program in 2011 alone. This represents a 10 per cent increase in the total weight of containers recycled compared with 2009 when the independent survey was last carried out.
Mr Cossey said, “reducing the environmental impact of farming and encouraging and facilitating farmers to be more environmentally conscious is an incredibly important part of ensuring the sustainability of Australian agriculture.
“I am very proud of the leadership and cooperation shown by our industry in initiating this program more than a decade ago and I am thrilled by the participation of so many farmers across the country. This type of good corporate citizenship should be celebrated and supported. This is why it is so important that farmers support the program by purchasing products that carry the drumMUSTER logo.
“Australia is leading the way in its commitment to industry stewardship in the agchem product sector and the active support from CropLife’s member companies has shown how willing the plant science industry is to get behind initiatives that will ensure a more sustainable agricultural industry. CropLife Australia member companies are also very conscious about the amount of packaging entering the system and accordingly have been part of the efforts to innovate the use of returnable and bulk containers for farm chemicals where possible.
“With drumMUSTER expected to collect its 20 millionth drum this year, it is evident that the program is continuing its success, success built on CropLife members being prepared to collectively put their money where their mouth is.
“The total volume of waste diverted from landfill since the industry’s voluntary stewardship efforts began in 1999 is estimated to be more than 75 per cent, comparing more than favourably with similar stewardship programs around the world. It is important to also remember that this environment and industry stewardship success was not generated by government regulation but through the collective voluntary initiative of industry,” concluded Mr Cossey.