Giving New Life to Old Drip Lines – Water Supply Product’s focus on sustainability

Water Supply Products has been distributing thousands of kilometres of polyethylene tube and dripline into horticultural areas for two decades. As this tube reaches the end of life and needs to be replaced, the waste product has in the past been dumped or shipped overseas to an uncertain future.

In the past few years, we have been searching for a better way of dealing with waste dripline from replacement programs. In other countries where dripline manufacturing is close to the market, some suppliers have been running recycling programs. This was not the case in New Zealand.

Last year we heard about FuturePost, a company that recycles waste plastics into a range of post products for agriculture, horticulture, lifestyle, and marine applications. From their website, it appeared that they were mainly using soft plastics and dairy product containers for their feedstock, so we approached them to find out whether the dripline was suitable.

After a trip to the factory with a roll of dripline in the back of the car and further discussions, we agreed to sign up for their Recycling Advocate (RAd) Partnership Program.

A key part of the partnership was the development of an incentive scheme to encourage growers to send their old dripline to FuturePost for recycling. We have enabled this by including a “Dripline Recycling Voucher” with every order for Rivulis replacement dripline supplied through our dealer network. We have also invested in three high-speed Andros dripline rewinding machines, two tractor-mounted, one trailer-mounted, and self-powered. They are available free of charge to Think Water branches that purchase Rivulis dripline from us as part of the program.

This program offers Think Water branches the opportunity to “Close the Loop” by recycling plastics from their customers, turning that waste into posts that get used back on the customers’ farms or vineyards.