Video: Ever wonder how your old silage plastic is recycled?

Approximately 250,000t of farm plastic waste have been gathered by the Irish Farm Film Producers Group Ltd (IFFPG) since its establishment – the majority of which has been silage wrap and sheeting.

IFFPG operates about 235 Bring Centres annually, as well as providing a farmyard collection service. Both services allow for up to 25,000t of farm plastic to be recycled each year. This equates to a national recycling rate of over 70%.

But what happens to your old silage wrap and sheeting once it has been dropped at a Bring Centre or collected from your farmyard?

AgriLand recently visited the Walker Recycling Centre in Co. Laois where silage wrap and sheeting is gathered, shredded and washed before being exported to make a whole host of recycled plastic products.

The silage wrap and sheeting is transported to the facility by lorry and each load is weighed before being deposited in the yard.

A massive pile of plastic, destined for recycling, is then gathered in the yard before being moved into a shed where it is shredded, washed and sterilised.

Once these steps are completed, the silage wrap and sheeting is compacted into easy-to-handle bales before being shipped to various locations throughout the world.

This plastic is then melted down to create a number of household and industrial products including refuse bags, garden chairs, piping and damp-proof pads.

What else is recycled?

Along with recycling silage wrap and sheeting, IFFPG also collects and recycles a range of other farm plastic waste.

This includes: large fertiliser and feed bags (liners removed); small fertiliser and feed bags (including bulk liners); chemical drums (must be triple-rinsed); and netting and twine.

Silage wrap and sheeting can be delivered loose to the Bring Centres at a cost of €15 per 1/2t, but an IFFPG Label Code Number is required to prove you purchased the levied plastic.

Bale netting and twine can be recycled at a cost of €15 per half-tonne fertiliser/feed bag.

This is also the case for triple-rinsed chemical drums, half-tonne fertiliser/feed bags (liners removed) and small fertiliser/feed bags (liners from fertiliser bags and covers off fertiliser pallets can also be included). Find your local farm plastics bring centre here