About 40% of farmers visiting waste recycling firm Agri.cycle’s stand at Cereals 2007 had not decided how they were going to dispose of waste farm plastics, says the firm’s David Kent.

It confirmed Agri.cycle’s view that numerous growers had not made provisions despite the 15 May cut-off for incineration of pesticide containers, he said.

“The biggest issue was where growers had assurance scheme audits after the deadline and thought they should have something sorted.”

Bag it
Agri.cycle demonstrated its big dumpy bag designed for larger farms at Cereals 2007. The bag, which looks like a giant fertiliser or seed bag, holds about 1300-1400 non-crushed cans, says Mr Kent. “Based on the average farm using 1.5 cans an acre a year, it holds a year’s supply of cans from about 850 acres.”

FarmXS’s Mark Webb said there were a lot who needed to join a scheme. “The largest firm, Solway Recycling, has 22,000 farms signed up, but there are are 121,000 claimants of single farm payments.”

John Howe of Agriforce reported a steady increase in sign-ups. “Farmers are now realising how much waste they produce.”

Manufacturers need to do more with their packaging to make it easier to recycle, Mr Kent said. “Dow’s chlorpyrifos comes in a foil package, which is neither paper nor plastic, so it is difficult to recycle. It should be isolated and stored in the spray store. We will take it, but it needs to be land-filled.”

In contrast, Makhteshim-Agan’s min-rinse packaging was excellent.”It cuts impact on farm and costs.”

mike.abram@rbi.co.uk

The largest plastic recycling firm, Solway Recycling, has 22,000 members, according to Andrew Prince, but lots of growers still haven’t made provisions for plastic waste disposal.