25. January 2021
The 2nd of December 2020, the General Assembly of APE Europe adopted the European Plasticulture Strategy*.
The EPS is the contribution of the plasticulture community that tackles environment-related challenges for plastics in agriculture and delivers a European model for a sustainable end of life management. Europe uses over 720 000 tonnes1 of non-packaging plastics in agriculture, less than 2% of the total European plastics consumption. They play an outstanding role in the environmentally friendly agriculture production allowing the reduction of input consumption as pesticides, fertilisers, water, and energy. It protects soil structure, root systems, fodder, free up arable land and avoids barn buildings.
If the plastic is essential for the agricultural production, farmers and plasticultors identified and dealt with the constraint plastics impose on the environment at an early stage. The end of life of over 80% of the volume of plastics marketed in Europe is already managed by existing, or being under investigation, national collection scheme (NCS), managed by all economics stakeholders: farmers, distributors, and converters. The ambition of the EPS is to provide, within the Extended Producer Responsibility’s framework, in a sustainable way, efficient technical, economic, and environmental solutions to farmers.
During the General Assembly of the Circular Plastics Alliance, held in Dec. on the 4th, Pekka Pesonen, COPA-COGECA2 Secretary General declared, “I consider the European Plasticulture Strategy as a good example of how agri-plastics management could be conducted in a sustainable way. To give EU farmers a concrete and efficient solution, we need a robust standardised approach among member states and any new regulation should not put limitation to collect initiatives but, on the contrary, should support them to accelerate NCS implementation.”
The objective of “no plastics to nature and 100% recycled”, as experience shows, is achievable in all European countries. The proposed model considers solutions to reduce wastes at source by the development of the use of biodegradable products and innovative mechanical technics to lower the soilage content3 during removal operations4, easing the recycling and the integration of recycled plastics into new products for a complete circularity.
Dokument online auf www.apeeurope.eu
APE Europe is the professional association for plasticulture ensuring the technical promotion of agricultural plastics and supporting the development of specific collection and recycling of used plastic. APE Europe, which combines 80% of films, twines, and nets producers on the European market, is also a place to exchange information via technical and regulatory monitoring. www.apeeurope.eu
1 Films, twines, nets, irrigation pipe
2 European farmers and European agri-cooperatives
3 Mineral, organics, water
4 See Rafu in France