VET-PHARMA giant Zoetis is working with the dairy sector to help reduce plastics out of landfill with a new syringe recycling drop-off program.
Zoetis has partnered with plastics recycler TerraCycle to launch an initiative in which syringes are melted-down to make into new items such as garden beds, watering cans and outdoor furniture.
The recycling program takes empty Teatseal syringe packaging, which is non-recyclable in kerbside bins and can generate significant waste depending on herd numbers.
The company has rolled-out 100 of these recycling boxes in vet clinics around Australia for farmers to drop off used syringes.
Since its launch, nearly 500 kilograms of plastic have been returned.
Australia produces about 8000 tonnes of waste farm plastics a year, with only a small percentage being recycled.
Zoetis senior vice president, Lance Williams, said he was pleased with the response from dairy clinics and farmers.
“This is the first time we’ve run a scheme like this in Australia, following the tremendous success of a similar program implemented by Zoetis in New Zealand,” Mr Williams said.
“Whilst we have only recently launched this initiative in Australia, we’ve been impressed by the enthusiasm and uptake from veterinary clinics and dairy farmers wanting to participate in this program.”
TerraCycle general manager, Jean Bailliard, said the new partnership demonstrated even more ways communities could reduce their environmental impact.
“Teatseal is made from a mix of plastics that can’t go in kerbside recycling,” he said.
“Through our new partnership with Zoetis, we’re able to provide farmers and veterinarians with solutions to divert these plastics from landfills so they can be repurposed.”