Plastics: Recycling

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 23rd September 2021.

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Photo of Lord Robathan Lord Robathan Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is any legal or regulatory restriction preventing suppliers from taking back and reusing large plastic sacks that have contained animal feed or fertilizer; and, if so, whether they plan to review this restriction.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

There are no specific restrictions in fertiliser legislation preventing suppliers from reusing fertiliser sacks. However, guidance around the storage and handling of certain fertilisers such as ammonium nitrate may still apply, which could impact on the feasibility of reusing fertiliser sacks. For example, the Health and Safety Executive recommends precautions to prevent the risk of contamination and spillage, including that bags should be completely sealed on filling. In practice, the reuse of large sacks used by farmers is likely to be limited as they are usually cut open to transfer the fertiliser into the spreading equipment.

There are no provisions in UK animal feed legislation preventing the reuse of plastic sacks. However, feed business operators must demonstrate through their feed safety management systems that the packaging materials used for feed are safe and do not have an adverse effect on animal health, human health, and the environment.

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