The recycling levy, from which the IFFPG receives 70% of its funding from and is charged to members for products they place on the market, has increased from €160 to €240 per tonne in 2023, which equates to €6.24 per roll of standard silage wrap.
According to the body, the “significant” increase was “necessary” as the scheme’s financial reserves were “eroded” in 3 recent years due to the achievement of record recycling levels at a time of “extremely high recycling” costs caused by recent global events.
These global events, the body outlined, included the decision by the Chinese to ban all plastic imports in 2018, the Covid pandemic in 2020-2021 and the war in Ukraine which began last year.
The impact of the recycling market on the scheme has “been severe”, the spokesperson outlined, with the cost of supplying to recyclers increasing by 600% since 2018.
Meanwhile, overall operating costs increased from €4 million in 2018 to over €6 million in 2022, which the body said has “in turn, left IFFPG with no alternative but to increase the recycling levy for the 2023 season”.
In terms of the weight-based collection charge to farmers in 2023, they will remain at €70 per tonne at the bring-centre and €120 per tonne at the farmyard.
For the average farmer who delivers 700 kg of waste to their local bring-centre, a charge of approximately €49 will apply, the spokesperson outlined.
IFFPG provides both a bring-centre and farmyard collection service to farmers each year for the full range of farm plastics wastes (wrap, sheeting, netting, fertiliser & feed bags, and drums).
Bring-centres are 1–2-day collection events which are held at locations such as marts, co-ops, and agri-merchants, with approximately 220 provided each year throughout the summer period.
IFFPG collects farm plastics waste through a network of approved collectors, of which there are currently four.
Approved collectors are selected following an open and transparent national tendering process, which is held every five years.
The process, which is open to all waste collectors, will be held again at the end of 2024, according to the body.
Since its establishment in the late 1990s, IFFPG has recycled almost 450,000 tonnes of farm plastic waste. Over the last 5 years, the volume of farm plastics waste recycled has increased by 40%.
In 2022 alone, IFFPG collected 36,500 tonnes of silage wrap and pit cover waste for recycling, which is the equivalent to plastic from 18 million bales.