8 March 1996

Lack of support brings an end to levy charge on plastic film

By John Burns

LEVY charges on new farm plastics have been dropped after a waste recovery scheme failed to gain full support.

Free collection of waste plastic silage sheets, bags and wrap film from farms will be available again this year even though the "environmental protection levy" is not being charged, organisers claim.

David Ripley, business manager of Farm Films Producers Group, which runs the farm films recovery scheme, said that the levy had been suspended because those adding it to their prices were unable to compete for orders with importers who refuse to join the scheme.

Last year 3848t of used silage plastic was collected from about 5000 farms by hauliers working for the scheme. Mr Ripley said it was hoped there was enough left in the levy fund to cover collection costs on at least the same amount of plastic as last year.

Some companies had made donations to cover the schemes administration costs and he hoped to persuade others to contribute. But unless every company operated the levy system on the 60,000t of plastics bought by UK farmers, the farm films recovery scheme would be in jeopardy.

Companies who are supporting the scheme this year are Amplas, Anaplast, Autobar, Bonar Polythene, BP Chemicals, Brithene (Widnes) Films, British Visqueen, Clingtech, IP Europe, Lakufol, Trioplastic.

The schemes freephone hotline is 0800-833 749.