APE EUROPE A CREATION BY AGRICULTURAL PLASTICS PRODUCERS The European professional association of agricultural plastics PRESS RELEASE APRIL 2012
CONTENTS I The creation of APE Europe A legitimate representative Promotion of plastics in agriculture The choice of national recovery schemes The founders The members Governance Finance II A ten-year action plan Aims Two phases Partners III Plastics in European agriculture Types of plastic Applications Assets IV Management of used agricultural plastics in Europe Quantities Legal reminder Existing collection French experience
Creation of APE EUROPE A European association 85% of agricultural plastic film manufacturers Concluding its Constitutive Assembly, in the Cercle National des Armées, Place Saint-Augustin, Paris, 1 March 2012, European manufacturers of agricultural plastic films have created APE Europe, a non- profit European association, which already brings together 85% of the professionals in the sector. Other branches of agricultural plastic (twine, nets, pipes…) have immediately shown interest in APE Europe.
At the end of this first General Assembly, Dr Holder Heggers, managing director of the agricultural films and netting division of RKW SE, was elected President of APE Europe.
A legitimate representative at European level Preferring the voluntary approach to a regulatory initiative, APE Europe positions itself as the natural representative of the agricultural plastics industry and its legitimate interlocutor concerning all plastics and recycling professionals, and with European administrative and political authorities. Faced by climate change and the growing demand for agricultural food products and energy, APE Europe and its founders are ever-more committted to a sustainable, clean and productive agriculture.
To this end, APE Europe has set itself two economically connected missions : Ensure the promotion of plastics in agriculture Foster the development of national collecting schemes for the recovery of used agricultural plastics in a coherent way for each of the European countries. Ensure the promotion of plastics in agriculture First APE Europe mission, the association intends to act by lobbying, communication, debate, research and strategic planning to promote plastic solutions in agricultural production. Therefore, APE Europe will : Ensure the promotion of the technical and environmental aspects of agricultural plastics.
Promote the transfer of experiences, know-how and responsible practices between European countries and towards emerging countries.
Collect and process information and statistical data on the use of plastics in agriculture. Disseminate information to members about research and the evolution of the use of plastics in agriculture
Maintain permanent or ad hoc relations with all public, semi-public and private organisations and institutions in Europe and the rest of the world interested in the applications of plastics in agriculture Follow the procedures of political, legal and/or regulatory decision at European level, but also optimise and streamline the use of plastics in agriculture at a national level Communicate to professionals and the general public to promote the role and usefulness of plastics in agriculture.
Promote the adoption of national recovery schemes Equally important, the second mission of APE Europe will be to work closely with farmers and distributors in the development or the establishment of sustainable national collecting schemes to maximise the recovery of used plastics in Europe.
In this capacity, APE Europe will : Encourage initiatives and undertake actions at a national and European level for the development of national schemes of collection, recovery, treatment, recycling and recovery of used agricultural plastics (UAP). Encourage European countries to set targets for collection, and support their efforts to succeed Prepare a plan for the development of the national schemes to collect and recycle 70% of the UAP by the year 2022 Conduct or commission studies and collaborative scientific projects in the agricultural plastics field, about the collection, recovery, treatment, recycling and promotion of used plastics.
Organise regular meetings between experts from agriculture and industry through its committees or specialised conferences Contribute to the management of used agricultural plastics through fund raising, studies, promotion actions, and sponsoring operations of collection, recovery, treatment and recycling.
Together in APE Europe, agricultural plastics professionals are ready to meet a new challenge for the greater benefit of both the agricultural sector and consumers.
The founders In association with the biggest names in the European agricultural plastics industry, the CPA (Comité français des Plastiques en Agriculture/French Committee of Plastics in Agriculture) is especially proud to be among the founders of APE Europe : RKW SE Germany Groupe BARBIER France Grupo A.ALVAREZ Spain TRIOPLAST SMS Sweden BPI. FORMPIAC Belgium HYPLAST Belgium NOVAMONT Italy TAMA FRANCE Israel CPA France The members Whether they are manufacturers, distributors of agricultural plastics or contribute directly to the recovery or regeneration of UAP, members of APE Europe can come from very diverse backgrounds : Professional organisations Companies Individuals Research institutions Governance APE Europe is founded on two managerial structures : The General Assembly The Board of Directors Elected by the General Assembly for a term of three years, the Board is composed of four to eight unpaid members.
Among its members, it chooses the President who may be assisted by one or more Vice-Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Finally, it may appoint a General Delegate, provided, however, that he or she is not a member or representative of a member of APE Europe. At the end of the mandate, members of the Board may be re-elected.
Finance To support its administrative costs and its activities of representation, studies, research and publication, APE Europe will have the following resources : Annual subscriptions One-off payments Fees for services Potential external subsidies For its first year, APE Europe anticipates a budget of € 45,000.
APE EUROPE A TEN-YEAR PLAN Aims To increase the volume of plastics recovered for recycling, APE Europe has set an action programme for the next ten years. During this period, and with the help of its future partners, APE Europe must : Survey the agricultural plastics market Establish statistical tools at a European level Encourage initiatives for the establishment of collecting schemes Contribute to the optimisation of existing schemes Support the creation of national networks Target the collection of at least 70% of European UAP Deliver a regular situation report to the European Union Two phases This programme is based on two five-year phases : 2012-2017 : The establishment of a strategic intelligence The creation of operational statistical tools The finalisation of the national collecting schemes in the most advanced countries: Germany, Britain, Spain, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Belgium… Collection of 70% of UAP in Ireland, Sweden, Spain… Support for initiatives taken by the less-committed countries 2017-2022 : Collecting and recycling 70% of used plastics in Europe The finalisation of national collecting schemes in the less-committed countries The improvement of existing systems through R&D Partners APE Europe will not work alone.
It will develop its action in close collaboration with the other European bodies already involved in the issue of the recovery and recycling of used plastics, among which we can mention :
European Union of Plastics Converters/Films (EuPC/EuPF) European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations (EPRO) European Union of Plastics Recyclers (EuPR) PlasticsEurope APE Europe will also increase its exchanges with the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations (COPA) and the General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperation in the European Union (COGECA).
PLASTICS IN EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE In 2010, the European plastics industry produced 57 millions tonnes of plastic, or 21.5% of world production. 5% of this volume, or a little more than 2.8 million tonnes of plastic, was destined for agriculture.
Types of plastic In agriculture, the most commonly used plastics are : LDPE - low-density polyethylene: films and packaging HDPE - high-density polyethylene: packaging PP - polypropylene: packaging PVC - polyvinyl chloride: irrigation, drainage, fences LDPE film alone accounts for approximately 60% of the production of agricultural plastic, that means approximately 502,000 tonnes. 80% of its consumption is concentrated in eight countries: Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
The different applications of plastic Use of plastic products in the principal agricultural sectors : Market gardening and horticulture : Greenhouses and large shelters Semi-forcing Flatbed tarps Soil-less cultivation Mulching Safety nets Livestock and forage protection : Silage Wrapping Agricultural twine The round ball net Agricultural producers also use plastic for : Big bags and sacks Irrigation and drip irrigation Trays, pots, cans and drums…
The advantages of agricultural plastic Faced by environmental imperatives and climate and demographic change, agricultural plastics have numerous assets meriting use in different fields.
Among them : Water They reduce water consumption They preserve soil and crop humidity They reduce losses in the irrigation networks Consumption of inputs They reduce the use of fertilisers They reduce the use of plant protection products Agricultural yields They allow early crops and several harvests per year They reduce losses during the conservation of fodder Yields in market gardening and horticulture They promote root development and plant growth They protect crops against insects and birds They protect crops and soils against unpredictable weather They improve the conservation of crops Quality of products for livestock They preserve the nutritional qualities of fodder better Quality of products in market gardening and horticulture They improve the conservation of crops They reduce losses during the transport of produce They improve the sanitary quality of the produce
MANAGEMENT OF USED PLASTICS IN EUROPE Quantities According to a recent report presented to the European Commission (Plastic waste in the environment, final report, April 2011), Europe, from all sectors of activity, generated 24.9 MT of used plastics in 2008. Agriculture accounted for 5% of this production; that is 1.25 MT. Without up-to-date and reliable statistical tools at a European level, it is difficult to be more precise about the detail of these figures, all the more so as the rates of stain vary so widely between plastics. However, for example, we usually estimate that the 502,000 tonnes of plastic films consumed each year in Europe produce approximately 725,000 tonnes of used agricultural films (UAF).
If Europe retrieves and recuperates many used agricultural plastics, it does not recycle more than 231,000 tonnes, that is less than 30% of them.
Legal reminder Classified in the category 02 01 04 on the European Commission list of waste products (200/532/EC), used plastics, excluding packaging, are not subject to any common regulation. However, in the framework of "extended producer responsibility" (EPR), producers, distributors and farmers may be required to retrieve their professional waste for optimal recycling. Nevertheless, if the EPR is required only for members of the European Union countries, the collection of the UAP, its organisation and its operational results vary considerably according to the regulatory framework and the conditions of production, distribution and exploitation of agricultural plastics specific to each European country.
Existing collection Lack of sufficiently specific information, particularly in countries outside the European Union, means it is still difficult to give an overview of the collection of used plastic in Europe. However, we can distinguish the two most common situations. The first one concerns the countries, such as Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Iceland and France, which have a national recuperation scheme. In the second one, where we find countries such as Germany, Spain, Great Britain and Belgium, many initiatives are taken according to the EPR, but there is no scheme for the collection of used plastics.
If we stick to the official and reliable figures, it appears that collection performance increases with the establishment of national schemes.
THE FRENCH EXPERIENCE In France, within the framework of EPR, and on the principle of shared responsibility between the actors in the agricultural value chain, in 2009, the French Committee of Plastics in Agriculture (CPA) implemented a national chain, which includes 95% of the sector’s companies, producers and distributors. Its funding is based on the eco-contribution by manufacturers and distributors plus a three-year grant from the ADEME (Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise d'Energie/Frnehc Environment and Energy Management Agency).
After three years of activities, the French scheme already shows excellent results, with almost 33,000 T of UAF collected in 2011, an increase of 10% from 2010.
Based on this assessment, the CPA has recently launched a feasibility study about implementing a recovery device for string and used agricultural netting, whose results will be published in the second half of 2012. With ADIVALOR, Coordinator, the CPA also joined with Invenio, Coved, Sita Recyclage and Etablissements Jaulent, in the RAFU collaborative project. With a 1.3 M€ budget, of which ADEME contributed 0.6 M€, this research project should significantly reduce the rate of staining of used agricultural films (UAF) and thus improve their recovery.
Contact CPA : Press contact : Bernard Le Moine Bertrand Figuier 65, rue de Prony R-D 2C 75017 Paris 69, rue du Château des Rentiers 01 44 01 16 49 75013 Paris 04 91 02 86 42 01 45 86 97 68 06 28 05 24 38 06 24 73 85 77 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org About the CPA (Comité Français des Plastiques en Agriculture) Founded in 1958, at the initiative of companies in the industry, the French Committee of Plastics in Agriculture is an association whose statutory aim is to "promote, coordinate all actions leading to the development of the use of plastics in agriculture, from a technical or economic perspective, and that contribute to the improvement of agricultural productivity and the quality of agricultural products.”