Silage wrap will be a significant source of feedstock for a new Bord na Móna recycling facility which was officially opened on Friday in Littelton, Co Tipperary.
The facility will recycle used plastic films that currently either end up in landfill or are shipped overseas.
The recycling process involves processing and cleaning the waste plastic material. This material is then shredded and granulated to produce plastic pellets.
The pellets are reused in the manufacture of bags, wrapping, boxes, etc.
It is intended that the plant will recycle 24,000t of plastic film per annum that would otherwise end up in landfill.
The first customer of the factory, due to start production in the next four weeks, is Irish Farm Film Producer Groups (IFFPG), the industry group organising bring centres for farm plastics around the country every year.
IFFPG collected 28,000t of plastic last year, its chair Tom Dunne told the Irish Farmers Journal – enough to fill the new plant's entire capacity.
The plant will create 40 new jobs and is located on the site of the former peat briquette factory which closed last year.
Bord na Móna AES has partnered with Sabrina Integrated Services (SIS), which will operate the new recycling facility at Littleton that will handle large film plastics.
The plant visited by the Irish Farmers Journal this Friday is fitted out with two plastic recycling lines made of brand new Chinese-made machines. There are plans to add more lines as the business ramps up, Bord na Móna executives said.
This new plastics recycling plant is a great example of how Bord Na Móna is adapting to a decarbonised world
Launching the plant on Friday, Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton said: “This new plastics recycling plant in Littleton, Co Tipperary, is a great example of how Bord Na Móna is adapting to a decarbonised world.
“By transforming their business and transitioning away from the fossil fuel industry, they are building a resilient, sustainable future for the company and secure employment for the Midlands region for years to come.
Listen to Minister Bruton in our podcast below:
“We are committing to very ambitious targets for plastic recycling under the climate action plan – by 2030 all plastic packaging will need to be recyclable, for example.
"In order to reach these targets, we need to grow Ireland’s plastic recycling capacity and this plant is an important development in that regard,” he said.
Chief executive of Bord na Móna Tom Donnellan said: “This is a really great day as we create new, long-term sustainable jobs on the former site of one of our old businesses. This recycling facility is another big step in Bord na Móna’s brown to green journey.
“The brown to green strategy involves us decarbonising our operations, moving away from our traditional activities, into new areas, creating replacement employment in higher-value recycling operations, renewable energy development and other low-carbon goods and services. We all know that Ireland must maximise the opportunities presented by decarbonisation,” he said.
This Chinese company used to recycle European plastic waste in China but these exports are now banned, so they’ve moved machines here to do it at source. pic.twitter.com/aN68lvbTke— Thomas Hubert ?? (@tom_hubert) July 5, 2019