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Berry Showcases Sustainable Agricultural Films at Agritechnica 2023

Berry Showcases Sustainable Agricultural Films at Agritechnica 2023

The agricultural sector wants to embrace more sustainable silage baling solutions while also maintaining functionality and application efficiencies. Bart Geeraert, Commercial Director of Berry Global’s European Agricultural Films business explores how we can achieve this ideal fusion with Silotite® balewrap film, part of Berry’s B More Circular Solutions range.

Striving for sustainable solutions in an evolving landscape

Sustainability is amongst the most pressing challenges facing industries around the world. In some cases, sustainability initiatives are led by current and forthcoming statutory requirements, as legislators aim to improve the environmental impact of packaging. Others are commercially driven in response to the demands of consumers or other third-party stakeholders.

Whatever the driver is for improving a product’s sustainability attributes, it is clear that any gains must not be offset by a drop in the efficiency, quality, or performance of farming practices. Therefore, a very practical question emerges. Can sustainable thinking be harnessed in a way that also improves the agricultural professional’s day-to-day operation?

Berry Global’s Five Pillar Approach to Sustainable Agricultural Films

The simple answer is ‘Yes.’ With the right balance and focus, this can be achieved in the development of innovative and sustainable baling solutions. This is why Berry has established the Five-Pillar programme for its Silotite balewrap range, to ensure films we are producing for today’s users continue to meet high performance standards across quality, functionality, user experience, innovation, and sustainability. Our approach takes a lead from the waste hierarchy principles, whilst maintaining quality and performance front and centre:

  1. Consistent Quality: agricultural operations need thereassurance of consistent high-quality silage film,that can maintain its integrity and protect its valuablecontents over time and in all weathers. As grassis readily affected by temperature and humidity,consistency is key to maintaining quality regardlessof these variables.
    Thanks to our high-quality protective films, we canminimise silage losses and spoilage, reduce feedstock waste, and maximize the duration of storage.

  2. Downgauged films: with a lower gauge film there isnaturally a reduction in material usage and thereforeless plastic consumption per application. It alsofollows that there is less to recycle.
    Our Pro Technology allows us to reduce the filmsthickness, maintain strength, and allows more filmto be added to the roll, increasing the length perreel, and reducing the amount of reel changes, anddowntime for a more efficient wrapping process.

  3. Reduced packaging waste: balewrap is traditionally supplied in carton packaging, which can be bulky, heavy and needs to be recycled separately to the balewrap inside. Another common complaint during wrapping is the boxes that are left behind in the field.

    By using PE sleeves, we can use considerably less packaging material, reduce packaging waste, and simplify the disposal process. Berry’s patented PE sleeve packaging counters this and provides effective protection to reels with the ability to be recycled alongside balewrap, without the need for separation^. The physical properties of the sleeve also allow a more stable pallet during transport. Further efficiencies can be achieved with the possibility of configuring the sleeve so that it is opened in-situ on the baler.

  4. Film&Film: wrapped bales are typically bound with netwrap, which is difficult to recycle and can become entangled within the silage. Berry’s alternative netwrap solution, Baletite®, is a recyclable baler film that can be disposed of alongside the balewrap, without the need for separation^.

    Additionally, with a full layer of plastic around the circumference, bales keep their shape better as they are more tightly compressed. This prevents the bale from expanding, which could allow oxygen ingress and silage spoilage. The baler film also has improved functionality benefits such as being easier to open, while its smooth film finish cleanly peels away from the surface of the silage.

  5. Inclusion of recycled content: as one of Europe’s largest recyclers of polythene film, we understand the benefits of utilising recycled content, taking existing products that consist of virgin material and assessing to what extent it can be replaced with recycled content.

    Our latest addition to the Silotite range, which we are delighted to be presenting at this year’s Agritechnica, is a film that incorporates 25% post-consumer recycled content.

Introducing SilotitePro1800 Sustane® film

Combining our continuous R&D efforts with our experience in recycled polymers has allowed us to develop SilotitePro1800 Sustane® film, which combines the benefits of our Pre-orientated ProTechnology with 25% post-consumer recycled content (PCR), resulting in less film usage and an improved environmental profile.

The environmental load of SilotitePro1800 Sustane 23 μm film (with 25% PCR) is ±24% less than our standard 25 μm film (with 0% PCR)*, supporting the circular economy and helping to divert waste from landfill.

SilotitePro1800 Sustane has been certified by RecyClass, offering users full traceability of recycled content.

Together we can Be More

As part of Berry’s More Together initiative, our product development teams continue to work alongside customers to devise ways that strike the balance between sustainability and functionality.

Our commitment to delivering sustainable packaging solutions that remain fit for purpose is reflected in our Silotite range. Silotite offers the optimal mix of consistent quality and an improved environmental footprint thanks to its patented sleeve packaging for reduced waste; ProTechnology that enables effective down-gauging; Baletite recyclable baler film; and the incorporation of post-consumer recycled content in our SilotitePro1800 Sustane film.

Thanks to these achievements, our customers can see real benefits in terms of sustainability and product conveniences, and often at a similar price point to our previous generation solutions. This shows our dedication to improving the user experience while supporting the circular economy.


*Calculated using the equation in the Circular Stretch Film Project Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) from MPR&S published 26th February 2021.

^Recyclable where PE film collections exist.