A plan for plastic waste in agriculture

A proposed national implementation plan has been developed to address the issue of non-packaging agricultural plastic waste.

The National Agricultural Plastics Stewardship Scheme was one of 24 projects funded under the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF) and a key initiative of the National Waste Policy Action Plan.

It was led by RMCG in partnership with Queensland horticulture industry body Growcom from January 2021 to March 2023.

The scheme aimed to facilitate and incentivise a viable market to recycle agricultural plastics. It involved solutions for on-farm retrieval, from farm collection logistics, processing technology and equipment and development of recycled plastic products and their markets.

The scheme focused on the following priority plastic types:

  • Protective film – grain silo bags, protected cropping film, cotton wrap and table grape covers
  • Piping, irrigation and drainage – tube and tape
  • Nets and mesh – hail and bird netting.

An example of a grain bag retriever used on-farm.
An example of a grain bag retriever used on-farm. Image: Marissa Shean.

Key project achievements

  • A feasible industry-led national scheme for non-packaging agricultural plastics ready to be implemented with established governance, administration, logistics and accreditation procedures and sustainable financial model
  • Increased sustainability of farm practices facilitated through avoidance of waste, resource recovery and recycling through pilot schemes
  • Improved industry partnerships and coordination so plastic collectors and processors can service the agricultural sector with viable end markets (new or existing) for products.


A Scheme Implementation Plan was submitted to the Australian Government in March 2023. It is recommended that a National Non-Packaging Agricultural Plastics Stewardship Scheme commence from the 2024/25 financial year onward, pending the establishment of an Industry Working Group and outcomes from further consultation with key stakeholders.

Click here to read the final project update including key achievements and the proposed scheme design and operation.

More information

If you would like further information please contact RMCG Principal Dr Anne-Maree Boland at or RMCG Associate Carl Larsen at

You can also read the previous project updates: