Old silage plastic is getting a new life, thanks to a plastics recycler based in Arkansas. Revolution Plastics’ has recycled over 40 million tons of ag plastic since launching its recycling program in Wisconsin two years ago.
“We have less plastic blowing around the countryside, we’ve got less plastic going into the landfill, so the feedback has been very positive,” says Price Murphy, Revolution Plastics’ Director of Operations.
Mitch Bruenig of Mystic Valley Dairy in Sauk City is one of the 5000 farms in Wisconsin that are part of the program.
“I think it's really important that we recycle this plastic, for a couple of reasons,” Bruenig says. “I hate to see plastic flying all over the countryside. But putting this into the landfill, I don’t think it’s great for the carbon footprint of dairy. If we can recycle it, I think it’s very good.”
Recently, Revolution Plastics’ acquired a warehouse in Madison where the plastic is collected, baled and then shipped to Arkansas where it is cleaned and turned into post-consumer resin.
“The post-consumer resin, which is made from the silage plastics from Wisconsin can go into trash can liners, construction film, agricultural film, polytube irrigation, just a number of things it works great in,” Murphy says.
The program is not only beneficial for consumers, but for farmers as well.
“Recycling the plastic keeps the farm so much cleaner,” Bruenig says. “As we use it, we pick it up and put it in the recycling bin to have it collected. It’s not our land, it’s the land that we’re using, and we just want to use it, take care of it and pass it to the next generation.”
The process for cleaning and recycling a plastic is two-fold – it must first be shredded and washed and then melted down and turned into usable plastic resin.
Check out the video above to learn more.