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Farm plastic recycling - overview and regulations

Farming has become one of the largest regular users of plastic film in this country, particularly for silage cover sheets and bale wrapping. Irish legislation places an obligation on manufacturers and importers of farm plastics to arrange for suitable collection and disposal of used plastic film. The Waste Management (Farm Plastics) Regulations 2001 promote recycling of farm plastic waste and place an obligation on farmers to recover farm plastic waste generated.

A levy is charged on all farm plastics sold and this is used to assist in the recovery of the plastics. You must ensure that you receive a receipt to prove that waste plastics have been correctly disposed of.

Producers and suppliers of farm plastic

Under the regulations, producers (manufacturers and importers) and suppliers (wholesalers, retailers, traders and contractors) of silage plastic must do the following in order to be compliant:

  • Producers must register with an approved body (Irish Farm Film Producers Group) or register and submit returns to each local authority in whose area they provide plastic for sale and offer a deposit and refund scheme
  • Suppliers must register with an approved body (Irish Farm Film Producers Group) and exclusively offer for sale plastic provided by a member of the Irish Farm Film Producers Group

Recycling waste farm plastics

Farmers have a number of options to correctly dispose of farm plastics:

Irish Farm Films Producers Group (IFFPG) is a government approved scheme. IFFPG arrange the collection and recycling of farm plastics across the whole country and charge a fee for this service. It is important to have your 6 digit bar code to avail of the cheaper fee.

You can request to have silage plastics collected from your farm on the Farm Plastics website or alternatively bring it to a bring-centre organised by IFFPG. Details and dates of bring centre collections can be found listed on the Farm Plastics website.

View contact details for IFFPG.

Alternatively, a farmer may chose to directly deliver waste farm plastics to an appropriately authorised waste facility. There are currently two waste facilities located in Clare that are permitted to accept waste farm plastics. 

View the details for farm plastic recycling facilities in our index of farm plastic recycling facilities

Farm plastic recycling facilities

Finally, there are a number of private waste collectors who provide a collection service directly at farms. Details of authorised waste collectors can be found on the National Waste Collection Permit Office website.

Whatever means of disposal you chooses, you must ensure that you receive a receipt to prove that waste plastics have been correctly disposed of.

Under no circumstances should farm plastic be burned or buried. This may result in prosecution under the Air Pollution Act, 1987 or the Waste Management Act, 1996, as amended. Enforcement of the farm plastic regulations is carried out regularly by the Waste Enforcement Unit, Clare County Council Environment Section.

Page last reviewed: 24/01/18

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Waste enforcement unit
Roads, Environment and Water Services Department
Clare County Council
Áras Contae an Chláir
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Co. Clare
V95 DXP2
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