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The Green Tractor Scheme, provides sustainable solutions for plastic used across all sectors of agriculture in the UK.

The scheme is primarily focused on the COLLECTION & PROCESSING of USED FARM PLASTIC.

The Green Tractor Scheme is operated by UK farm plastic collectors,
in partnership with a sector wide group of stakeholders.

Although agricultural plastics only represent 3% of the total plastics used in the UK, it is important that this high profile sector continues to improve producer responsibility. Plastics provide important benefits to the sector in the terms of efficient food production, but it is essential that responsibility for the recycling of this product is shared across the sector, and all used products that are no longer required, are treated in line with best practise.

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.

The Green Tractor Scheme’s ambition is to provide UK agriculture with the ability to recycle all farm plastic packaging by 2030. The innovations listed above provide part of the solution, but the collection and processing of this product are key to providing the closed loop. The UK farm collectors and processing facilities operate across all farming enterprises, and across all parts of the UK. These operators provide a wide range of collection and processing options, tailored to individual sectors. Our existing processing facilities will be greatly enhanced by additional processing capacity, due to come online in 2020. To contact operators providing services in your area, please make contact via the information provided on our collector/processing network page.

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