SEPA to end exemptions for burning farm plastics

04 September 2018

Article: 52/3506

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has announced its next steps to reduce the adverse impact of plastics on the environment by confirming it will end exemptions for burning most types of agricultural waste from 1 January 2019.

Whilst a change in Scotland’s environmental regulations in 2013 meant farmers could continue burning plastics only under an exemption, the agency is moving to reduce the environmental impacts of farm waste.

The move, which will affect silage wrap, crop covers, fertiliser bags and containers, follows extensive engagement between SEPA and Zero Waste Scotland. SEPA has also worked closely with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland to roll out the change which will feature on-going dialogue with farmers and crofters over the coming months.

Ending the exemption will not only align with the legal requirement for all Scottish businesses to present plastics and other items separately for collection, but will help boost the Scottish market for recycled plastics.

SEPA, NFU Scotland and Zero Waste Scotland have developed a simple set of resources for Scottish farmers, including a list of Scottish recyclers who stand ready to help farmers get plastic waste sorted. 

Source: SEPA, 31 August 2018