Plastic Forests recycling on-farm plastics

Where does the recycled wrap end up?

Plastic Forests recycling on-farm plastics

Where does the recycled wrap end up?

Making a Difference -


The issue

500,000 tonnes of plastic film is used by the agricultural and food industries in Australia each year, but only about 4 per cent of it is recycled – the same proportion as globally. With the slowdown in international markets for discarded plastics, some people are concerned that recycling is a waste of time and not worth the effort.

Is there a market for recycled products?

Or will it end up in landfill because no one can process it into something people will buy?

The solution

The good news is Holbrook Landcare Network has formed a partnership with recycler and reprocessor Plastic Forests, for on-farm plastics like silage wrap and bunker covers, salvaged through the highly successful hay and silage wrap recycling program. There are currently four collection points around Greater Hume Shire at Burrumbuttock, Culcairn, Mullengandra and Holbrook. So far 34 tonnes has been diverted from landfill and recycled (as at June 2019).

Plastic Forests, the 2018 NSW Green Globe Innovation award winner is based in Albury, 60km south of Holbrook. They are a family owned business tackling a key environmental problem by rescuing, recycling and reprocessing contaminated single-use plastic film. The plastic is dry cleaned and converted onto a range of building and gardening products which are sold directly to market or made into resin for use by other manufacturers. In fact, they are the first company in the world able to dry-clean landfill rescued film at a commercial scale.

The impact

Agricultural waste is only one stream of plastic film they process. Plastic Forests also recycle a wide range of plastic films, even those contaminated with residues such as hay and organics. In the last few years, Plastic Forests has diverted 1354 tonnes of plastic film from landfill.

To help support the continuation of the recycling industry, there needs to be demand for the recycled products being made. One item Plastic Forests produce is the Mini Wheel Stop, a parking marker for use in home garages. For each one sold, 155 plastic bags are diverted from Australian landfill (at 5g per plastic bag).

Plastic Forests are continually developing new and innovative recycled products, check out their website to help drive the demand for recycling and divert more plastics from landfill. Link to Plastic Forests

For more about HLN's Hay and Silage Wrap Recycling Program see the #WarOnWaste case study Or Plastic Forests

Key facts

  • Recycled into:
  • Mini Wheel Stop
  • Garden edging & garden edging pegs
  • Root barrier
  • Underground electrical cable covers
  • High quality, polyethylene (PE) resins including Low Density (LDPE), Linear Low-Density (LLDPE) and High-Density (HDPE)
  • Australian made and owned

Project Partners