Environmental Protection Ministry updates recycling regulations to include thousands of tons of plastic waste used in agriculture industry

Billie Frenkel
Published: 07.24.12

The recycling revolution led by the Environmental Protection Ministry is about to hit the agriculture industry for the first time. The ministry announced that an amendment is to legislate the recycling of thousands of tons of plastic used in agriculture.

According to the ministry’s data, over 15,000 tons of plastic are used in Israeli agriculture – in irrigation systems, hothouses, and nets – most of which, around 3,000 tons a year, is tossed in open areas and causes environmental damages, such as fire hazards, contaminating soil and water, and attracting pests.
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Another agricultural problem is that of trimmed foliage, which is in risk of becoming a fire hazard that can cause air pollution and diseases.

“unorganized care of trimmed foliage may lead to the spread of diseases and pests onto crops, which brings about an increased use in pesticides, causes smell hazards and is dangerous in case of fire,” ministry officials state.

The Environmental Protection Ministry plans to establish a recycling policy by which trimmed foliage will be compressed and used to cover the soil to decrease the vaporization of water from the ground and enhance growth.

The ministry states that this is a first attempt to address the issue of agricultural waste in Israel, in line with the recycling revolution that the ministry is trying to establish. “Recycling has entered all industries,” said Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan. “In addition to economic and environmental benefits, agricultural recycling can help prevent fire hazards, the spreading of diseases, and of smells.”