Teatseal recycling initiative

Animal health business Zoetis has partnered with TerraCycle to launch a recycling initiative for dairy farmers in an effort to keep plastic waste out of landfill.

The innovative recycling initiative sees plastic syringes melted down and pelletised. This raw material can be made into new items such as garden beds, watering cans and outdoor furniture.

The recycling program supports the recycling of empty Teatseal syringe packaging.

Teatseal is a non-antibiotic product used to prevent mastitis infections during the drying-off period.

The preventative treatment is administered using a plastic syringe that is not recyclable in kerbside bins, and depending on the herd numbers, the amount of plastic generated per farm can be significant.

Zoetis has partnered with a number of veterinary clinics across Australia, enabling farmers to return the used syringes to their local participating clinic, where they are placed in a recycling box.

There are currently 100 collection boxes around Australia.

Australia produces around 8000 tonnes of waste farm plastics a year, with only a small percentage currently being recycled.

In the past three years, the Federal Government has strengthened its commitment to ensure the Australian agriculture sector is contributing to global sustainable development goals.

“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,” Zoetis vice-president Lance 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.”

Since launch, the Teatseal recycling initiative has returned more than 495kg of plastic.

“Teatseal is made from a mix of plastics that can’t go in kerbside recycling,” TerraCycle’s Jean Bailliard 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.”

For more information, visit: www.zoetis.com.au