The sale of single-use plastic that has usually been used to cover maize grown in Ireland is to be banned from being placed on the market from tomorrow (Saturday, July 3).

Confirming the news to Agriland, a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications said:

“Directive (EU) 2019/904 – commonly referred to as the Single Use Plastics Directive – obliges member states to prohibit all products containing oxo-degradable plastic from being placed on the market from July 3, this year.

“The commission’s recently published guidance on the scope of this directive clarifies that there is no distinction between oxo-degradable plastic and oxo-degradable that is biodegradable.

“Stocks of these products that have been placed on the market before July 3, can be used/depleted after the deadline,” the department spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) said:

“DAFM understands that the films currently used to sow covered maize comes under the Single Use Plastic Directive and will not be permitted going forward.

“The relevant legislation is Directive EU 2019/904, also known as the Single Use Plastic Directive.

“DAFM also understands that industry are developing alternative films for use in sowing maize that will comply with this legislation.

“Approximately 10% of the maize crop grown in Ireland is currently grown in uncovered systems [without film],” the Department of Agriculture spokesperson concluded.