Over the last 20 years, an increasing tonnage of used farm plastic has been collected and treated. There has also been increasing development within the packaging sector to reduce the use of virgin polymer in the manufacture of new products. Typical polythene animal feed and fertilizer sacks manufactured today, have 50% less material used in their production, when compared with the first polythene sacks entering the market. Other innovation includes the use of recycled polymer in the production of new silage covers, which can contain up to 90 % recycled content. Other factors that have helped to reduce the tonnage of plastics used, include the general move to bulk ibc’s, away from smaller 25 and 50kg sacks.
Other recent innovations driving markets for recycled product, which are key to increasing recycling rates for collected material, include the switch to bale wrap manufactured from transparent film. Clear bale wrap that has been collected for recycling has much larger markets, therefore helping to provide sustainability for this important animal feed packaging.