An enforcement blitz by county council waste enforcement officers in the border counties over recent months revealed a very high level of compliance among retailers selling silage wrap.
The initiative, which saw over 30 inspections carried out, including many in Donegal, showed that retailers are largely in compliance with legislation which requires them to charge a recycling levy on every roll of wrap that they sell.
During the period May-July this year, border enforcement officers working with the Irish Farm Film Producers Group (IFFPG), which are the national farm plastics recycling scheme, targeted wrap retailers throughout the border region to ensure that they are charging the recycling levy as required by law.
The recycling levy, which equates to €2.35 per roll, is used by IFFPG to fund the recycling of the plastic after it is used. The initiative saw agri-merchants and silage contractors targeted in counties Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan, Louth as well as Donegal. In the case of some inspections, Revenue officials accompanied county council officers to ensure that retailers were VAT compliant.
Dearn McClintock, Waste Regulations Officer with Donegal County Council said the results of this enforcement showed that retailers were in general compliance, with the trend among silage contractors being to increasingly move away from supplying wrap to customers.
“However, it was considered that the current strength of sterling was a significant contributory factor to high compliance this year. This is because illegal traders in the south, who usually source their product north of the border, found it difficult to acquire product at the right price this year,” said Mr. McClintock.
Liam Moloney who is General Manager with IFFPG praised the this year’s enforcement initiative adding that “compliance with the legislation ensures that IFFPG can continue to fund an excellent recycling service for farmers and also ensures that retailers who are charging the levy are not undercut by unscrupolous operators”. He added that the “scheme had another excellent year on the recycling front with almost 3,000 tonnes recycled in border counties and over 25,000 tonnes recycled nationally”