Lake District farmers bag a future for recycled plastic

Published on: 21 Jun 2017

 Recycling farm plastic

A long-running farm plastic offensive which has seen thousands of tonnes of waste recycled has had another bumper crop, thanks to around 50 farmers near Penrith.

Lake District farmers took part in the big collection at Troutbeck, in the east of the National Park, where large quantities of bale wrap, silage sheets, string and lick buckets saw almost 30 tonnes deposited.

Organiser Lake District National Park ranger, Val Edmondson, praised farmers for their support and said once again the annual event had been a big success.

She explained: “Agriculture produces masses of plastic these days and if it wasn’t disposed of properly would be harmful not just to animals but the environment as well.

“This is a really good example of how we work with our farmers to improve this special landscape for all to enjoy.  

“Farm plastic by its very design is not biodegradable. The only solution is recycling and we help make this happen by providing a collection point. We had five farmers queuing up with their loaded trailers at one point.

“Everyone benefits. Farmers get rid of their rubbish and the plastic remerges as invaluable plaswood, a material that doesn’t rot and is often used to build boardwalks.

“We’re very grateful to Solway Recycling for all the help and support in collecting and processing.”

Matterdale farmer, Mark Potter, said he was one of many who appreciated a ‘handy and easy’ collection at a busy time of the year.

He added: “It allows us to have a good tidy up around our farms after the winter and get the stuff away. There is nothing worse than seeing plastic bale wrap hanging in trees and blocking watercourses.

“We pay a small charge, but recycling plastic is an obligation of our farm assurance scheme and this helps meet our requirements. It is a win/win for us.”

Photo shows bags of farm plastic being collected at Troutbeck, near Penrith.

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