The UK’s farm plastic collectors have announced a joint initiative, the creation of the UK Farm Plastic Responsibility Scheme, which will start on January 1, 2020.

The Scheme, which will be open to all UK farm plastic collectors, will operate on a not-for-profit basis and will be funded by the collectors. There will be no additional cost to farmers and no levy on new plastic products.

There is currently no accurate information available as to tonnages of farm plastic recycled, re-used or landfilled. This initiative, led by a number of active farm plastic collectors, aims to change this.

Mark Webb of Farm XS Ltd said: "This is a completely new scheme. There's a strong network of farm plastic collectors and this is about forming a group that will take this forward and get the information together that we need to inform potential recycling possibilities."

The aims of the scheme, which will cover both packaging and non-packaging plastics, are to:

• Provide audited totals of the quantity of farm plastic collected and recycled

• Further increase the volume and quality of plastic recycled

• Educate farmers to reduce contamination within their waste plastic

• Provide the supply chain with corporate responsibility re plastics they put into the market

• Assist with exploiting new technology for the reprocessing of farm plastic

• Lobby government and other bodies as required for support to increase plastic recycling facilities within the UK

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