Recycling of plastics from agriculture in Europe has been growing over the years to reach a collection rate of around 60%. European Parliament’s draft report on regulating the CE marking of fertilizing products may, however, be disruptive to the recycling market.
European Parliament’s draft proposal will impose restrictions on the conventional mulch film to be CE marked, which is not degradable within 5 years. This will de facto result in a serious market restriction for conventional and recyclable mulch film.
The report was drafted without previous assessment as per economic or environmental impacts and therefore is not based on any scientific study. The implementation of the report will have serious implications for agricultural plastic converting, recycling and the free market.
Ton Emans, PRE president, commented, “Agricultural plastic waste stream represents predominantly a mono-material consisting of LDPE and LLDPE so the final recycling process results in high-quality recyclates”. He further, elaborated, “Plastics waste is a hot topic for which the Commission is developing a Strategy. Agriculture film is one of the only plastics waste flows which is recycled without any legislation in place. It is certain that more should be done, however, this draft proposal will result in a halt of these positive developments and lower the overall plastics recycling rate which is already dramatically low”.
Alexandre Dangis, EuPC Managing Director, underlined, “The market of LDPE films in EU is over 86kt, the shift to the new imposed material will create market distortions as today only a handful of producers are able to provide the needed supply. Collection and recycling of PE mulch film is essential in Europe as it is contributing to a circular economy also in in the agricultural sector”.