Upcoming events:
  • Celebrating 40 years of Silotite
Loading Image
APE Recycling Scheme

APE Recycling Scheme

APE UK [Agriculture, Plastics & Environment UK] is pleased to announce that a new industry-led National Collection Scheme for used non-packaging agri-plastics is now operating across all regions of the UK.

2,800 tonnes have already been collected and recycled, with almost all collectors of farm plastics contributing to the APE scheme. Farmers now have an environmentally responsible solution for their used non-packaging agri-plastics.

The scheme is not subject to the new packaging plastic tax1 due to come into force in April 2022. All the benefits of the non-profit Scheme are retained within the Plasticulture community and all stakeholders are invited to share in its governance. All agricultural businesses have equal access to the Scheme which operates under the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility and encourages the market to operate freely so as to ensure a cost-effective service is provided to all.

The Environmental Protection Contribution (EPC) of £20/tonne, applied on sales of new products in 2020 by the major manufacturers of agri-plastics who represent 80% of all non-packaging agri-plastics placed on the market, is now contributing to the cost of collecting and recycling them after use, in 2021.

 A list of collectors and Regional Collection Managers (RCMs) will be published in agriculture and horticulture media over the next week or so and a location map will be uploaded onto a new APE website, www.ape-uk.com (est. mid-June).

APE expects to collect 17kt in 2021, 30kt in 2022, with a target of 65kt (70% of all used non-packaging agri-plastics) by 2025. But there is still much to do and no doubt there will be some areas of the UK not yet covered by the Scheme. APE invites all farmers and growers, who may not yet have a local collector, to contact their RCM. If a local collector is not available, APE will work with the RCM to set up another solution, such as a bring centre, collection site or maybe even a local municipal site2.

Even with the best will in the world, an EPC of £20/tonne cannot pay everyone for everything, collectors still need to charge for their services. The contributions made by APE should allow fees to reduce over time.

APE aims to increase the quantity of used agri-plastics collected and also their quality: “leave the soil in the field.” A new Farmers Handbook on how farmers can help will be available via the APE website soon.

The economies of scale gained by collecting, grouping, sorting and preparing much larger quantities on a far larger scale should attract new investment in much needed recycling capacity, especially since the supply chain will be more sustainable, consistent and reliable.

APE expects the demand for used agri-plastics to increase, as the pellets produced by recyclers will be sought after by the manufacturers who, as signatories to the EC Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA)3, are committed to increase the % of recycled content in new products.

Farmers, growers, retailers, distributors, co-ops, collectors, recyclers and manufacturers, are aligned in reducing the environmental impact of agricultural production, sharing a common objective: “Zero plastics left in the field, 100% recycled,” enabling complete circularity in the Agri-Plastics Circular Economy for a cleaner environment for everyone.

APE thanks everyone for their commitment to this Herculean task and for everyone’s patience.