At the 2021 AGM, members of the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) voted to form the Agricultural Products Group to enable focus for those members who have interest in agricultural plastics applications which include the following.

  • Protective films
  • Piping, irrigation and drainage
  • Nets and mesh
  • Twine and ropes
  • Bagging
  • Storage trays
  • Labels.

Many thousands of tonnes of plastics waste is generated by the agricultural and horticultural industries in Australia. Most recent figures available are from Horticulture Australia which reports that in 2012-13, over 59,000 T of plastics was used in agriculture and horticulture in Australia while 3,800 T was recycled (1).

The bioplastics industry has products which are compostable and biodegradable,  made using renewable resources or both. Compostable and biodegradable plastics assist in facilitating organics recycling and reduction of waste to landfill, while durable plastics made using renewable resources and identical in all other ways to those made using fossil resources, can be recycled in the plastics recycling stream.

The Agricultural Products Group will continue the work done by the ABA with concentration on agricultural plastics applications where replacement with bioplastics can assist reduction in waste to landfill, microplastics generation and enable recycling within the conventional plastics recycling infrastructure.

 

(1) Final Report Innovative ways to address waste management on vegetable farms. Dr Anne-Maree Boland RMCG Project Number: VG13109