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BPI invests in farm plastics facility

British Polythene Industries (BPI) has invested £2 million in its farm plastics recycling facility at Dumfries.

It has installed a second wash plant that will double its capacity. The new plant, which is due to be commissioned in June this year, will allow Dumfries to process a further 15,000 tonnes per year of agricultural waste plastic. This will take its capacity to 30,000 tonnes.

The investment follows growing pressure from farmers for outlets to recycle their waste plastic in advance of the new waste controls due to come into force in late Spring of this year.

Added pressure has come from the recent announcement by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that the Government has decided to implement statutory Producer Responsibility regulations in respect of non-packaging farm plastics has underpinned the demand for new recycling capacity in the UK.

BPI Recycled Products managing director Andrew Green said: “We are delighted that in response to their recent consultation, Defra have accepted the case for statutory regulations in this area. Since the collapse of our voluntary industry scheme, Farm Films Producers’ Group, 10 years ago, we have always maintained that the most efficient and lowest cost way to ensure the recycling of plastics from farms was via a mandatory national framework. To a large extent our investment is ahead of a market which will only become sustainable once these regulations come into force.

“However, the announcement from Defra has given us the confidence to take a long-term view of further investment in this sector and to subsidise its operation until the market has developed.”

BPI will not collect the waste farm plastic itself but will continue to offer this service through Birch Farm Plastics. This collection is now being expanded across the UK.

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