Agricultural films for recycling

Plastics recycling is not only an issue in the food and consumer goods industries. From now on, more and more plastics will be collected and recycled in agriculture.

The initiative ERDE (Erntekunststoffe Recycling Deutschland), initiated by the IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V., has now committed itself to collecting and recycling 65 percent of all silo and stretch films placed on the market in Germany by 2022. The voluntary self-commitment was officially announced at the Parliamentary Evening of the Plastics Processing Industry on 26 June 2019 in Berlin.

“All harvest plastics are to be collected and recycled in order to close the cycle and to avoid the entry of plastics into the soil and the environment”, said EARTH Managing Director and IK Managing Director Dr. Jürgen Bruder, explaining the aims of the initiative. “Manufacturers and marketers of agricultural films”, he added, “are the backbone of the initiative; their strong financial commitment makes it possible to take back used films at a reasonable price. This is lived extended product responsibility”.

So far, only 25 percent of ERDE’s silo and stretch films have been collected and recycled. About 70 percent of the collected agricultural films are recycled in Germany, the remaining 30 percent in other EU countries. New agricultural and construction films, irrigation tubes and garbage bags are made from the recycled materials. The next step is to integrate asparagus foils, round bale nets and mulch foils into the system.

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