Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
Farmers are benefiting from the Green Tractor Scheme when it comes to recycling Scheme champions UK recycling of farm plastics

Farmers are benefiting from the Green Tractor Scheme when it comes to recycling

An independent recycling scheme is offering growers and livestock producers a stress-free way to dispose of farm plastics.

The Green Tractor Scheme brings together companies which collect plastic waste from farms. And unlike some collection companies, they ensure the waste can be reprocessed back into usable plastic.

Rules and legislation requiring farmers to dispose of plastic responsibly rather than burning or burying it have been in existence since 2005. But not all plastic collection companies recycle plastic waste in the proper way.

“It’s an increasing challenge for farmers who are under more scrutiny to prove they are doing the right thing,” says Green Tractor brand champion Joe Farmer. Farmers need to ensure their waste is being recycled – or run the risk of being caught out, he adds.

“A waste transfer note is supposed to be the legal proof that waste has been transferred the correct site. But sometimes the tonnages don’t add up – which means some farmers aren’t doing all the recycling they’re supposed to be doing.”

Since inception, the Green Tractor Scheme has diverted close to 41,000 tonnes of farm plastic from being sent to landfill. To make this possible, the scheme has serviced on average 17,500 farmers each year.

“We try to keep things simple,” says Joe. “We try to ensure the agricultural community is at the heart of every decision we make. We are as transparent as possible and we don’t charge extra levies on top of the recycling price.”

How it works

To use a Green Tractor accredited collector, farmers simply visit the Green Tractor website. They then choose a suitable waste collector nearby from a list of companies which are part of the scheme.

“It’s completely the decision of the farmer,” explains Joe. “They can contact whoever they like – and they can also compare prices because each collector is independent and may have a slightly different pricing structure.”

Accredited collectors then collect the plastic waste from the farm. The plastic is then reprocessed by the waste collector ready for the next step of the recycling process.

The Green Tractor head office is in Lincolnshire. The directors each have their own company – Agri.Cycle, Grassroots Recycling, Solway Recycling and Emerald Isle Recycling – but there are member companies too.

“Our scheme is national and we have coverage across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,” says Joe. This means we have the necessary infrastructure to service UK farm plastic to be collected and recycled to the highest environmental standard.”

“As we all know, no plastic has ever disposed of itself incorrectly – it is the behaviour of people that creates the conditions for the scourge of the environment with improper waste disposal. The agricultural industry has that same problem itself.

Green Tractor is working with NGOs, businesses, legislators and farmers to ensure agriculture reaches sustainability targets set by the UK government and prevent farm plastic from being disposed of incorrectly.

Zero to landfill

“We are a key part of the national crusade to achieve zero to landfill, and our ambition is to increase the quantity recycled to over 70% by 2030.” says Joe. “It is a lofty ambition but a necessary one to help make farming a more sustainable industry,” he adds.

To help reach this goal, Green Tractor is involved in multiple projects to help raise awareness of farm plastic recycling. These include working with other businesses – including Anglia Farmer – to raise awareness of the scheme, working with agricultural colleges to educate the future of farming on the importance of recycling, and providing agriculture with the knowledge to recycle correctly.

The aim is a sustainable supply chain. Corporate ambassadors in clude Agrii, Asda, Dengie, Shorts Agricultural Services, Smartlift Bulk Packaging, Vanden Recycling, Witham Oil Group, Woldmarsh Producers, Yara and Zeus Packaging.

“As well as being a director of Green Tractor and director of one of the founding companies, Agri.Cycle, I am also a farmer,” says scheme chairman Robert Moore.

Revolutionary scheme

“I know from experience the importance of doing things right on the farm. Being able to be a part of a revolutionary scheme to help farmers recycle the right way is a fantastic opportunity that I am proud to be a part of.”

The scheme, which is open to all UK farm plastic collectors, is funded by the collectors that are a part of the scheme and through our corporate ambassadors. Funds are all reinvested to improve the scheme. “There is no additional cost to farmers and no levy on new plastic products,” says Joe.

“Being the lead representative for a ground-breaking scheme is a lot of responsibility, but it’s a responsibility I love. It’s great to be out there making a difference for UK farming.”

Benefits to farmers

An assurance that any waste collected is fully, legally traceable and accredited.

All Green Tractor collectors are annually accredited.

No hidden fees.

Use the Green Tractor Scheme badge to show a commitment to positive change.

Indemnity from fines regarding mishandling waste management by ensuring your waste is handled correctly.

All collectors are audited annually to ensure the high standards of Green Tractor are accredited.

 

The Green Tractor Scheme aims to:

Provide audited totals of the quantity of farm plastic collected and recycled

Further increase the volume and quality of plastic recycled

Educate farmers to reduce contamination within their waste plastic

Provide the supply chain with corporate responsibility re plastics they put into the market

Assist with exploiting new technology for the reprocessing of farm plastic

Lobby government and other bodies as required for support to increase plastic recycling facilities within the UK

 

Recycling Tips

The key to efficient recycling is the segregation of waste material at source and keeping it dry.

Pesticide cans must be triple rinsed

Seed bags, feed bags and fertiliser bags should be placed inside one another or tied in manageable bundles

Cardboard should be flat-packed and stacked and tied in bundles

Silage wrap and crop cover needs to be dry and free from as much contamination as possible

Trickle tape and irrigation piping must be coiled

Get in touch

To contact the Green Tractor Scheme, call 0800 246 5171 or visit www.thegreentractorscheme.co.uk