Farmers warned over plastic burning

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Farming businesses should ensure they are disposing of plastic waste in accordance with regulations

Farmers across the nation are being warned to dispose of their plastic waste in accordance with environmental regulations or they could face hefty fines.

The warning comes after a farming business in Oxfordshire was fined £20,000 for illegally storing and burning plastic waste on its land in Faringdon, after it began operating an illegal skip hire and waste disposal business, including the large-scale disposal of auto tyres.

Under environmental law, farming businesses are required to hold a waste collection contract with a licensed waste management business, however, many farmers are not following the correct procedure and are burning or burying their plastic waste on farmland.

Farm owners who want to take care of their own waste management must hold the necessary permits, including a farm waste exemption license and a waste transportation license, for those who want to remove their own waste using the appropriate transportation vehicles. Any farmers that are found to have breached the regulations, or those found performing waste removal activity without the necessary permits, could find themselves hit with a fine of up to £50,000.

Mark Webb, the director of a farm waste recycling firm, is warning the owners of farming businesses not to take any unnecessary risks, especially as the Environment Agency has been “clamping down on unregistered waste carriers”.

According to Mr Webb, the Environmental Agency’s Operation Salamandar, which was carried out in the South East of England, proved to be a rewarding campaign. Mr Webb said that the EA “stopped 71 vehicles in Operation Salamandar in the South East of England in just one day last month. Of those, 26 face possible prosecution for duty of care offences.”

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