4 November 2021
CropLife Australia, in partnership with the Australian Seed Federation, is today announcing bagMUSTER, Australia’s first not-for-profit, whole-of-industry genuine collection and recycling program for agricultural bags.
Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, Mr Matthew Cossey, said, “Plastic packaging plays an essential role in Australia’s agricultural industry by protecting seed, pesticide and other ag products for transport, use and storage. What is also essential is that this packaging is collected and processed in a genuine and environmentally sustainable way onshore, here in Australia.
“CropLife Australia, with our initiative partner the Australian Seed Federation, has designed bagMUSTER following our extensive experience in developing and operating drumMUSTER and ChemClear™ for almost 30 years through our wholly owned stewardship organisation, Agsafe.
“bagMUSTER is being developed as a hybrid program, taking the best and most suitable components from drumMUSTER and ChemClear™ to deliver an industry-led and fit for purpose stewardship solution for agricultural seed, pesticide and other farm input product bags.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Seed Federation, the national peak industry organisation for the Australian seed industry, Mr Osman Mewett, said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with CropLife to launch this important recycling initiative for all agricultural product bags.
“bagMUSTER is going to support our industry to meet its obligations in the Australian Packaging Covenant and the broader agricultural sector in its efforts to address the vitally important Recycling and Waste Reduction Act.
“Through bagMUSTER, collected bags will be processed locally, on shore in Australia, further supporting recycling capability and technology development in Australia.”
Mr Cossey continued, “bagMUSTER further shows that the members of both CropLife and the Australian Seed Federation are leaders when it comes to a genuine whole-of-life-cycle approach to industry stewardship.”
Mr Mewett added, “Partnerships with governments will be crucial to ensure a viable and sustainable model is delivered for the benefit of Australia’s farmers when the pilot stage begins in 2022.
“Importantly, following the pilot phase, bagMUSTER will be delivered through an industry-funded model: those who import, manufacture and supply bags or import pre-packaged products will contribute on a fee-for-service basis. This will mean no farmer levy and minimise costs on the agricultural sector.”
Mr Cossey concluded, “Through bagMUSTER and all of CropLife’s StewardshipFirst initiatives, we are continuously adopting and promoting ethical and responsible practices right from discovery and development of agricultural products through to their use and the final disposal of associated waste, allowing us to better assist farmers and play our part in protecting the environment.”