London, March 2020
A new nationwide scheme has been launched for the end-of-life management of non-packaging agricultural plastics.
A new nationwide scheme has been launched to provide farmers and growers with environmentally responsible solutions for the end-of-life management of their non-packaging agricultural plastics. This is an industry led initiative operating under the framework of the Extended Producer Responsibility of the manufacturers of agricultural plastics, representing 80% of the UK market.
APE (Agriculture, Plastics & Environment), a non-profit organisation, will bring its experience from other countries in Europe where such national schemes have been highly successful in increasing the quantity of
agricultural plastics collected after use. It is estimated that only 30% of used non-packaging agricultural plastics are managed properly in the UK today as farmers and growers have limited options available to them. APE aims
to increase the quantity collected in the UK to 80% within 5 years through the setup of a national network of authorised collectors, bring centres and municipal waste sites.
To finance the setup of the scheme an “Environmental Protection Contribution” (EPC) of £20/tonne (2p per kg) wll be applied on the following contributing products: Greenhouse and Tunnel Film, Mulch Film, Silage Sheets, Silage Wrap, Bale Net and Bale Twine.
Producers and representatives of distributors, co-ops, farmers and growers will be directly involved in the governance of the scheme. It will operate throughout the UK so that all farmers and growers will have access
to it. All farm plastic collectors are invited to join the scheme but are not obligated to do so. Farmers and growers may continue to use any collector they may already be working with. More details about the national
network will be published later this year and operations should start January 2021. In effect, all contributing products put on the market during 2020 will contribute to the cost of their recycling after use, next year.
The scheme will also provide educational, technical and financial support to improve the quality of the waste collected so as to improve the efficiencies of recycling it. This will enable producers to integrate more recycled feedstock into the production of new products, as per our commitment to the EC Circular Plastics Alliance, thereby improving the efficiency of the Circular Economy.
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