37,000 tonnes of farm plastics were recycled during 2021, according to the Irish Farm Films Producer’ Group (IFFPG).

The group stated that Irish farmers recycled a record 90% of farm plastics over the course of last year. This is the equivalent of 18 million silage bales worth of plastic.

IFFPG said that the majority of the plastic was collected at 200 bring-centres which it operated in the summer months at co-ops and marts.

The not-for-profit body has recycled over 400,000 tonnes of farm plastics waste since its establishment in 1998; it is funded by industry and farmers.

Farm plastic

“In total, 37,000 tonnes of silage wrap and pit cover waste was recycled in 2021, which was 3,000 tonnes more than in 2020 which was also a record year.

“Recent record levels of recycling can be attributed to a growing farm plastics market largely due to the abolition of the milk quota, as well as ever-increasing numbers of farmers engaging in recycling,” IFFPG outlined in a statement.

farm plastic bring centres
Image source: IFFPG

Over a third of the material collected from Irish farmers was processed into a range of new products.

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ossian Smyth welcomed the 2021 figures:

“The success of this scheme is testament to the effort and continued commitment of the farming community across Ireland to play their part in protecting our environment.

“Using domestic recycling solutions, where possible, to deal with our waste farm plastics, is also a very welcome development in this sector and aligns with the core principles of our Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy,” Smyth said.