GPSA project explores future options for grain silo bags

A project to look at options for the reuse and recycling of grain silo bags in South Australia is underway thanks to a $60,000 grant awarded to Grain Producers SA (GPSA).

The ‘Circular Economy Market Development Grant’ program through Green Industries SA is enabling GPSA to undertake a feasibility study to better understand the challenges and opportunities in repurposing and reducing waste of grain silo bags.

GPSA Chief Executive Officer Brad Perry said grain producers had increasingly raised the problem of used silo bags and lack of recycling avenues available.

“There is currently a successful recycling stewardship scheme for plastic chemical containers called ‘DrumMuster’ as well as pilots for plastic seed and fertiliser bags with ‘BagMuster’, however there is a gap when it comes to used grain silo bags,” said Mr Perry.

“Through the ‘Grain Silo Bag Circular Economy Feasibility Study’ we are seeking to understand the scale of silo bag waste on grain farms in South Australia, what recycling avenues currently exist, and what investment strategies can be developed to provide industry participation and circular solutions for used silo bags.

“Grain producers want to harvest their crops as quickly as possible and are increasingly utilising temporary plastic grain silo bags as a convenient storage solution.

“These silo bags are single use and once finished with, they are stored on farm or producers try to find alternate uses.

“As use of silo bags grows, the amount of plastic waste generated on farms is increasing, as is awareness of the associated waste management responsibilities.

“It’s hoped that this Feasibility Study will lead to potentially innovative recycling solutions to this problem if no existing recycling avenues are identified as feasible.”

GPSA will work with a consultant to develop the Feasibility Study and will also develop an awareness campaign aimed to educate key stakeholders identified in the study on used grain silo bag recycling, avenues for recycling, innovative uses, and circular economy best practices.

Grain Producers SA is the peak industry body representing the 4,500 grain farming businesses in South Australia.