KUHN and APE UK announce partnership to improve agri-plastic recycling

21 May 2024

KUHN Farm Machinery has become the first machinery manufacturer to partner with Agriculture Plastics Environment UK (APE UK) to support responsible management of agricultural plastics and improve the recycling from farms.

APE UK is a non-profit organisation focussed on improving the management of agricultural plastics, by engaging with farmers, core members of the supply chain and the agricultural industry, to support recycling and sustainability when disposing of the products.

Ian Creasey, APE UK’s CEO, says the goal is for industry-wide collaboration. “Less than 30% of used agri-plastics are recycled in the UK, and APE UK’s objective is to build a national plastics recovery and collection scheme to increase this to 75% within five years. We are engaging with the farming sector and government to incentivise agri-plastics recycling and support the development of cost-effective recycling services for farmers and growers. As an industry, we can’t continue to ignore the impact managing plastic waste incorrectly has on the environment.”

The initiative requires a collaborative approach and KUHN has already taken steps to ensure waste plastic is easier to manage, with film binding introduced on its standard and combination balers. By removing net binding and creating one waste product, farmers can save time and be more efficient when sorting the waste.

KUHN’s grassland product specialist, Rhodri Jenkins, says the company is committed to making the recycling process easier for farmers. “Our wide product portfolio means users are handling plastics daily, whether that’s chemical cans, baler twine or bale wrap. If we can help promote more efficient and cost-effective ways to manage these waste products off farm, then we can start to make the current problem part of the solution.”

Rhodri continues: “Through innovative technology, such as our 750mm stretch-film rolls that have a much higher pre-stretch ratio compared with wider conventional rolls, we can cut film costs by up to 37%. This has a value to the farmer at both ends of the chain as it is more cost-effective to buy and there is less waste to dispose of.”

Building awareness around the initiative in agriculture and horticulture, while engaging with farmers and government, will create buy-in across the whole industry. APE UK has partnered with agri-plastic producers, as well as distributors such as Carrs Billington, Mole Valley and Wynnstay.

KUHN will be exhibiting at the Welsh Grassland event, where more information on the partnership, and innovative ways to reduce wrap use, will be available to visitors. On the KUHN stand will be an FB 3135 with film binding, and an FBP 3135 with film binding and 3D wrapping. Alongside this will be FC 3125 and FC 3115 mowers, a GF 8703 tedder, a GA 8131 rake, while a RW 1810 wrapper will also be at the event.