17. May 2023
As early as 2021, NETAFIM, the leading manufacturer of drip tube systems for agriculture, launched a pilot project together with RIGK to return used drip tubes to the recyclable material stream by taking them back and recycling them. In its second year, the project saw a further increase in recycled volumes, according to the final figures for 2022, with 50 tons of drip tubes collected and recycled in 2022, up from 35 tons in the pilot year.
The use of these drip irrigation systems significantly saves water and energy compared to conventional irrigation systems. In conjunction with fertigation (fertilizer injection), fertilizer applications can also be reduced. Yields and crop qualities are thus safeguarded. The joint recycling offer of NETAFIM and RIGK makes drip irrigation even more sustainable.
In contrast to wine and fruit cultivation, where thick-walled drip pipes are used that last for many years - thin-walled drip pipes for seasonal applications prevail in asparagus and strawberry cultivation, which have a shorter service life. To return these to the material cycle, NETAFIM is pioneering the recycling of drip tubes and is cooperating with RIGK, which has many years of experience with take-back systems for plastics from the agricultural and industrial sectors. Until now, final consumers had to take care of removing drip pipes themselves. With the joint offer, farmers can now simply and easily return them for recycling.
Georg Beer, responsible manager at NETAFIM for irrigation in reforestation areas and recycling of drip pipes, comments on the cooperation: "With RIGK, we have found a highly competent partner who helps us to close an important gap in our sustainability strategy, namely to organize the exclusively material recycling of our drip pipes. Used drip pipes are a high-quality raw material that remains in the raw material cycle with the help of RIGK."
In 2022, the final consumers could hand in their used drip pipes in various focus regions throughout Germany or, in the case of larger quantities, have them collected directly from the farm. It is generally crucial for the recycling of plastics from the agricultural sector, and this also applies to the drop-off of drip pipes, that the material is returned broom-clean, without foreign matter and as dry as possible. In addition, the containers are used in the best possible way by pre-compacting the material.
In parallel to actively protecting the environment, the recycling of drip pipes has another positive effect on the final consumers, as they save money with this return option. NETAFIM contributes to the costs of the system so that the take-back is cheaper for farmers than conventional removal options. In addition, since drip pipes and drippers are made exclusively of polyethylene (PE) and are collected by type through this independent system, they have good recycling properties and are raw materials that can be used in new products.
Phone: +49- 151-51738791
System Manager ERDE
Phone: +49 611 308600-20