The burning of plastic waste on farms will no longer be allowed under exemption from the beginning of next year. The new regulations come into force from 1st of January 2019. It affects the burning of silage wrap, crop covers, fertiliser bags and containers.
Gary Walker for the Scotland’s environment agency SEPA , said:
“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and ending the exemption for burning farm plastics is an important next step in stemming the plastic tide by reducing the environmental impacts of farm waste.
“From 1 January 2019 farmers will no longer be able to burn plastic and most types of agricultural waste and, whilst many farmers have been recycling this type of waste for years, it is important that all farmers take steps now to ensure they are ready. By recycling farmers are once more doing their bit for the environment, supporting their local community and helping ensure that plastic materials are kept in use for as long as possible by maximising the value that can be extracted from them.
“Working with our partners a simple set of resources has been developed for Scottish farmers which will help them to get their plastic waste sorted. We will continue to work with farmers over the coming months as we move towards 1 January and SEPA officers are always here to help if farmers have any questions.”
Information link – Burning on-farm waste
What can still be burned on-farm?
From 1 January 2019, there are some farm wastes that can continue to be burned. These wastes can only be burned after 1 January 2019 if the activity does not cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.
Biomass such as:
- Vegetable waste from agriculture and forestry
- Vegetable waste from the food processing industry, if the heat generated is recovered
- Fibrous vegetable waste from pulp-making, if the heat generated is recovered
- Uncontaminated wood waste (but not paper or card)
Only burned under very specific conditions contained in exemption 29 are uncontaminated cork waste and animal carcasses.
Martin Kennedy Vice President of NFU Scotland said:
“Recognising that the spotlight is focussed on plastics, it is incumbent on all stakeholders that we help farmers and crofters do the right thing when dealing with the forthcoming ban on burning farm plastics.
“There is a short window for change but we have been working closely with SEPA and Zero Waste Scotland on clear messages and practical measures that farmers can follow. That involves meaningful, simple guidance on what can and can’t be done; what is and what isn’t recyclable, and what the options are for farm plastics deemed non-recyclable. We also want to ensure the collection centre network is as comprehensive as possible so those in more remote areas have realistic options to have this material disposed of properly in the future.
“Where there are gaps in information, guidance or disposal options, we will work quickly with others to fill them with solution.”
Reporter: Fiona Grahame