UK ag plastic technology shows promise
By Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling
A new project in Europe aimed at recycling agricultural film has produced "promising results," according to a U.K. trade association.
The project, funded by the European Commission, seeks to overcome barriers to recycling agricultural film by finding new ways of cleaning the material. Recently, a consortium of partners involved in the project, including the U.K. Packaging and Film Association (PAFA), wrapped up a research-and-development program that involved prototype testing of a new cleaning device. The new device works without washing, and has reduced contamination of agricultural film by 65 percent, and can be used either at the point of generation or at a collection hub.
"This could not come at a better time," says Barry Turner, CEO of PAFA, in a prepared statement. "As we are just about to start a project in the U.K. for producers of agricultural film aimed at finding ways to improve the collection rate for these products. Agricultural film performs an essential function in modern farming but we need to resolve the collection and recycling to get a second life out of the polyethylene film."
According to PAFA, the next step for the project is finding the right partners to work with who are capable of helping bring the technology to full commercial use. PAFA will engage waste management companies, collection agents, farmers, film producers and companies that recycle the material to develop best practices on recycling agricultural film. Recycling agricultural film will become increasingly important as more agricultural film is used, according to the organization.