Among the many events and stands at the 2019 National Ploughing Championships next week will be one particular stand focusing on Ireland’s bioeconomy, and in particular the prospects for a ‘bio-plastics’ industry.

The initiative is being led by agriculture education company Agri Aware, in partnership with the Beacon Bioeconomy Research Centre in Dublin and the Irish Farm Film Producers Group (IFFPG).

Agri Aware will be showcasing the exhibit in its ‘Big Red Shed’ at the ‘Ploughing’ next week, located at Block 2; Row 17; Stand 382.

It’s a relatively new area which we think will be of huge interest to the rural community given the benefits it may have for rural/coastal Ireland in creating rural jobs and investment. EU leaders suggest it could lead to up to one million jobs across the EU by 2030.

Agri Aware will host a number of panel discussions on bio-plastics and the wider bioeconomy, which will feature representatives from, among other groups: the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; recycling firm Repak; and Prof. Kevin O’Connor from the Beacon centre.

There will also be daily debates on plastics and the role of the agri-food sector in the bioeconomy. These discussions will feature personnel from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), An Taisce and many other groups and agencies.

Live experiments and interactive displays will also be a part of the exhibit.

Visitors to the Agri Aware stand will be “taken on an interactive journey to find out more about the exciting research going on in the bioeconomy sphere across Ireland and the positive role it plays in Ireland’s agri-food industry”.

“In a time where focus is on feeding a growing population and climate change mitigation, there are some really interesting solutions for a circular economy on the way,” said an Agri Aware statement.

“Many see Ireland as having the potential to become a global leader in this area through a co-ordinated approach that harnesses Ireland’s natural resources and, given the role agri-food business and farming has in society here, we have a competitive advantage in this area,” the firm added.