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Farm plastic recycling

In 1997 the government introduced the farm plastic regulations to assist and promote the recycling of farm plastic waste.

The Waste Management (Farm Plastics) Regulations 2001 places an obligation on farmers to recover farm plastic waste generated. A levy is charged on all farm plastics sold and this is used to assist in the recovery of the plastics. Farming has become one of the largest regular users of plastic film in this country, particularly for silage cover sheets and bale wrapping. Irish legislation has placed an obligation on manufacturers and importers of farm plastics to arrange for suitable collection and disposal of used plastic film.

Producers and suppliers of farm plastic

Under the regulations, producers (manufacturers and importers) and suppliers (wholesalers, retailers, traders and contractors) of silage plastic must do the following in order to be compliant:

  • Producers must register with an approved body (Irish Farm Film Producers Group) or register and submit returns to each local authority in whose area they provide plastic for sale and offer a deposit and refund scheme
  • Suppliers must register with an approved body (Irish Farm Film Producers Group) and exclusively offer for sale plastic provided by a member of the Irish Farm Film Producers Group

Recycling of waste farm plastics

There a number of options available to a farmer seeking to correctly dispose of farm plastics:

  • Avail of collection at the farm yard, or deliver the waste to a one day bring-centre, as arranged by Irish Farm Films Producers Group (IFFPG)
  • Deliver the waste directly to a waste facility
  • Arrange a collection at the farmyard by an authorised waste collector

Irish Farm Films Producers Group (IFFPG) is a government approved scheme under the Farm Plastics Regulations 2001. IFFPG arrange the collection and recycling of farm plastics across the whole country, and charge a fee for this service. It is important to have your 6 digit bar code to avail of the cheaper fee.

You can request to have silage plastics collected from your farm on the Farm Plastics website or alternatively bring it to a bring-centre organised by IFFPG. Details and dates of bring centre collections can be found listed on the Farm Plastics website.

IFFPG can be contacted as follows:

Alternatively, a farmer may chose to directly deliver waste farm plastics to an appropriately authorised waste facility. There are currently two waste facilities located in Clare that are permitted to accept waste farm plastics. These are:

IFF Recycling Ltd.,
Cloonwhite North, 
Cree, 
Kilrush, 
Co. Clare
Telephone: (065) 9050773
Permit number: WFP-CE-08-0005-02

Tullagower Quarries Ltd.,
Tullagower,
Kilrush, 
Co. Clare.
Telephone: (065) 9051575
Permit number: WFP-CE-11-0002-01

Finally, there are a number of private waste collectors who provide a collection service directly at farms. Details of authorised waste collectors can be found on the National Waste Collection Permit Office website.

It is important to note, that whatever means of disposal that a farmer chooses, it is important to a farmer ensures that he/she receives a receipt to prove that waste plastics have been correctly disposed of.

Under no circumstances should farm plastic be burned or buried. This practice may result in prosecution under the Air Pollution Act, 1987 or the Waste Management Act, 1996, as amended. Enforcement of the farm plastic regulations is carried out regularly by the Waste Enforcement Unit, Clare County Council Environment Section.

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Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 25/10/16