13 Dec 2021

Recycling Skye's agricultural plastic waste

John Muir Trust seeks to expand its agricultural plastic waste collection scheme on Skye.

Strathaird Farm tractor

The Trust's plan to divert agricultural plastic waste from landfill into the recycling stream, where it could be reprocessed into useful items, began in winter 2020/2021. To date we have gathered between one and two tonnes of waste silage wrap and feedbags by working with local crofters - including four who regularly use silage - and we want to expand.

Local interest

"There has been significant interest in the scheme from other crofters on the island and surrounding area," said Skye Conservation Officer Cathryn Baillie. "If the project is scaled up, I anticipate that the volume of plastic waste collected could be substantial."

The Trust is carbon auditing the various transport and recycling options for the plastic. We would love to see the waste being reprocessed nearby and the resulting products sold locally, but unfortunately these facilities don’t yet exist on Skye.

The Planet Sutherland climate action group is in the process of setting up a reprocessing plant for waste plastics that it hopes to be operational by early 2022. The group would be keen to support a similar enterprise on Skye, perhaps providing different but complimentary services.

Business oportunity

The Trust hopes that someone in the Skye and Lochalsh area will see this as an opportunity to create a business. Cathryn said: "We have some insight into what would be required and would like to assist anyone with an interest in taking the project on."

There is significant funding available at the moment for improving recycling infrastructure from Zero Waste Scotland and our funders from the William Grant Foundation may also consider offering support to see the project continue and grow.

  • If you would like to discuss the opportunity further, please email Cathryn Baillie

Strathaird Farm wrapped silage

Purple Flower - David Lintern

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