While old stocks of oxo-biodegradable maize plastic are still being sold, farmers should be prepared to pay €50-€70/ac extra for compostable film once those stocks are used up, according to Samco managing director Robert Shine.

Samco has been producing maize plastic for 25 years, however the company will be producing a more sustainable product from now on.

As a result of the ban on single use plastics last July, the old-type oxo-degradable plastic will be replaced with compostable film.

“The new film is costing more because of the newer technologies and it’s a denser product.

“It is made up of a mix of polylactic acids, maize starches and vegetable oils.

“We have been working on this for a while now and have just bought another machine.

“It’s just about getting public acceptance now,” he said.

Shine added that the new product is far more sustainable and will lead to less ploughing of the soil.

“Normally, with the old film, you’d have a lot of cultivation. With the new technologies, you don’t have to plough as deep.”

Shine added that there was good demand from farmers this year.

“Maize is a very high energy feed, it has a higher DM than silage and is more palatable.

“That’s why I think maize has been talked about so much over other crops,” he added.