Ten farmers and growers are $500 better off after recycling with the rural Agrecovery programme.
Its recent promotion encouraged recycling plastic agrichemical, animal health and dairy hygiene containers at 70 collection sites across New Zealand. Those recycling during March and April went in a draw to win one of 10 $500 vouchers to spend at the rural supplier of their choice.
Ranging from Waipapa in the north to Ashburton in the south, the winners show a good cross-section of the primary sector are using the programme, including kiwifruit, citrus, potato and bulb growers, a vineyard, livestock farmers, a spray contractor and even a biodiesel and oilseed plant.
According to Duncan Scotland, sales and marketing manager for Agrecovery, the incentive was enough to motivate people to recycle.
"We've not run a promotion like this before, but recent reports of a lack of knowledge or motivation by many to use this free programme made us try something new and it was clearly a success," Mr Scotland said.
"We collected more than 26 tonnes of container plastic in the month directly following the promotion - it's the first month we've exceeded 20 tonnes since the programme began in 2007.
"And, critically, we saw a jump in new members of more than 20 per cent above our usual average, which means it was the push that some needed to start recycling with Agrecovery."
During the promotion there was also a reported 60 per cent increase in the number of unique visitors to the Agrecovery website.
"It's great to see more people looking into the recycling and recovery programmes we offer, but even better the promotion was a real call to action - we saw a fantastic increase of nearly 400 per cent on the viewing of some pages, including the location of our collection sites, and the list of 56 supporting brand owners whose containers can be recycled for free through the programme.
"With collected plastic well up, the number of new members up and the significant increase in web traffic, the results speak for themselves."
The Agrecovery container recycling programme allows farmers and growers to recycle triple-rinsed plastic containers (1-60 litres in size) from 56 supporting brand owners for free through the extensive collection network.
On-property collection may also be available for high-volume users. The collected plastic is recycled in New Zealand into underground cable covers.
Agrecovery also offers recycling programmes for silage plastics, Fiber Fresh feed bags, bale net and crop-protection net, as well as recovery programmes for large drums and unwanted chemicals.
"More and more farmers and growers choose sustainable options for disposal over traditional burning and dumping," Mr Scotland said.
"This growth is expected to continue under the combination of changing attitudes to the disposal of plastics and increasing scrutiny of New Zealand's clean, green image by our export markets.
"We'd encourage farmers and growers to check out our website www.agrecovery.co.nz, or give us a call on 0800 Agrecovery."
A list of promotion winners is posted on their website.