Green Tractor Scheme aims to recycle all farm plastic packaging by 2030

Initially set up by the UK Farm Plastic Collectors Group, the Green Tractor Scheme launched in early 2020. The key aims of the scheme are to:

  • Increase the percentage of agri-plastic that is recycled
  • Reduce the amount of agri-plastic waste going to landfill

Funded by the stakeholders, the group offers farmers a complete circular service enabling them to recycle plastic waste with ease. The scheme has given itself the target of eliminating plastic from farms by 2030.

Although only responsible for 3% of the UK’s plastic waste, the agriculture industry still produces an immense amount per annum. This is due to the fact that ‘Agri-plastics’ play a vital role in improving the efficiency of farming. They’re used in areas such as controlling temperature, light and pests on the farm.

Historically, there was minimal data on the tonnage of agri-plastics reused, recycled or sent to landfill across UK farms. However, a key part of the Green Tractor Scheme is to provide properly audited totals of the quantity of farm plastic collected and recycled by the agricultural industry.

How it works

The Green Tractor Scheme currently has 17 recycling partners throughout the UK. Each organisation can arrange collection of plastic waste from farmers within their region. These recycling partners provide a wide range of collection options, including bulk collections, skips, bag systems and bin/ liner systems. The Green Tractor Scheme website provides a regional map enabling local farmers to locate their nearest recycling contractor.

Agri-plastics are changing

The agricultural industry has already made extensive steps in reducing its harmful plastic content over the last 20 years. According to the Green Tractor Scheme site:

  • typical polythene animal feed and fertiliser sacks manufactured today have 50% less material used in their production.
  • New silage covers are produced using recycled polymer containing up to 90% recycled content
  • Farmers are using more bulk ibc’s (intermediate bulk containers) rather than small 25g and 50g sacks.

The farming industry has made great progress in the last two decades to remove plastic waste. Thanks to the Green Tractor Scheme the next ten years will be intense and focussed.

Want to join and play your part?

Anyone wishing to help achieve the schemes goal of recycling all farm plastic packaging by 2030 is welcome to become a member.

If you are an existing waste collector, processor, NGO, farming group, supplier, or individual, then act now and join via the Green Tractor Scheme website.