Microplastics

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
We bought a load of biscuit waste three years ago and I was horrified to see how many minute pieces of plastic there were in a handful.
That was the first and last load coming here.


It's perfectly legal. And the health risks have been warned about for over 3 years.
 

DaveGrohl

Member
Location
Cumbria
I totally agree. I have never allowed any of the waste products on my place, despite heavy pressure from my contractors over the years. 'Its cheap nutrients!' they kept saying. Not looking so cheap now though.

I think the day is coming when the Environment Agency suddenly declare that land with X level of microplastics is considered contaminated, and various restrictions as to its use will apply. All those people who have been falling over themselves to do the water company's job for them and disposing of sewage sludge on their land will find themselves in a bit of a bind.
And of course they’ll be banning all imported food produced on similarly contaminated ground. Cough cough. :ROFLMAO::banghead:
 

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
Just spread all this waste on the "ReWilding" areas. Its not used for food production. Make the trees and flowers and weeds grow better.

Could be the case that some land heavily contaminated with plastic, let alone the heavy metals and hormones from sludge, will have no other option than to rewild.
 
Astro turf.
In gardens
On sports pitches
And disposed on farms as a soft surface for cows to walk on.

Ban it!
I totally agree, why someone would pay to get used astro turf for cow tracks is beyond me! A farmer would pay to take someone else's rubbish that can only either contaminate their farm forever or cost a fortune to dispose further down the line. I hate the idea of astro turf, I think it should be banned.
 

Mc115reed

Member
Livestock Farmer
We bought a load of biscuit waste three years ago and I was horrified to see how many minute pieces of plastic there were in a handful.
That was the first and last load coming here.
That’s nothing compared with the Americans… they round bale there hay then Chuck it straight into a straw grinder with the wrap on and everything and feed it there cows happy as Larry 🥰🥴🤦‍♂️
 
I considered digestate and hearing of the micro plastics issue it was a no brainier to totally discount it as an option.

Why would you intentionally pollute your land in an irreversible way?
I can't remember who I was talking to recently, but I said I would never use sewage sludge on the farm here because I was worried about micro plastic pollution (as well as heavy metals), and they said, no, it's all fine, nothing to worry about. I was quite surprised that others would think that. I can't use it anyway, as I have a feeling that being organic we are not allowed to, but even if I was allowed to use it I would be very sceptical and would need a lot of persuading.
 

JockCroft

Member
Livestock Farmer
My Dad told me nearly 40 years ago, "never let plastic leave the yard as once it gets in the field it'll be there for ever".
Wish I had listened to mine. Just walking lambing fields picking the odd bit up hear and there just about filled an old fashioned dust bin. That's not just thrown in, that's pushed down. About half could be farm plastic but a cutlery tray? in the middle of a field. Also in the rough grazing found what would have been a trampoline, that's half a mile from nearest house, and much farther from a road so must have been airborn to reach there.
Read on a news feed last week that there is a natural bug/yeast/enzyme or summat that breaks down plastics in a fairly short time frame (months). Now that could be a saviour, or it could be interesting how life as we know it would cope if this is an uncontrollable organism. Maybe some of "Science Fiction" may come true.;):unsure:
 
I think a lot of micro plastics come from micro fibres from washing synthetic clothes, the "experts" think the answer is filters on the washing machines, but I think the answer is clothes made form wool, cotton, hemp, leather and linen. I say that as someone with a few Exlana sheep, but if wool rose to it's historic values (talking middle ages here), it would not take long with a New Zealand Romney tup to breed in wool again.
 

Yale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Wish I had listened to mine. Just walking lambing fields picking the odd bit up hear and there just about filled an old fashioned dust bin. That's not just thrown in, that's pushed down. About half could be farm plastic but a cutlery tray? in the middle of a field. Also in the rough grazing found what would have been a trampoline, that's half a mile from nearest house, and much farther from a road so must have been airborn to reach there.
Read on a news feed last week that there is a natural bug/yeast/enzyme or summat that breaks down plastics in a fairly short time frame (months). Now that could be a saviour, or it could be interesting how life as we know it would cope if this is an uncontrollable organism. Maybe some of "Science Fiction" may come true.;):unsure:
Question is if bugs break down plastic what chemicals are released in the process?

Can these be concentrated by plants then harvested for food.

We are told not to put food stuffs in certain plastics as there are nasty chemicals which leach out.

These plastics don’t suddenly become inert.

Lets compare plastics to ag lime.The more finely ground the lime the faster it leaches and works on the soil,the finer the plastic the more available leaching of chemicals will be.
 

DaveGrohl

Member
Location
Cumbria
Wish I had listened to mine. Just walking lambing fields picking the odd bit up hear and there just about filled an old fashioned dust bin. That's not just thrown in, that's pushed down. About half could be farm plastic but a cutlery tray? in the middle of a field. Also in the rough grazing found what would have been a trampoline, that's half a mile from nearest house, and much farther from a road so must have been airborn to reach there.
Read on a news feed last week that there is a natural bug/yeast/enzyme or summat that breaks down plastics in a fairly short time frame (months). Now that could be a saviour, or it could be interesting how life as we know it would cope if this is an uncontrollable organism. Maybe some of "Science Fiction" may come true.;):unsure:
Breaks plastics down to what? Microplastics? Isn’t that what biodegradable plastic is?
 

wr.

Member
Location
Breconshire
Thousands of tons of the "biosolids" from Welsh Water go up the road past me every year, three loads at a time usually. It's quite worrying when you think about it.
The whole of Wales placed in NVZ and we are being blamed for high levels of phosphate in the rivers.

As an aside, I heard from a chap who is in with FWAG that while agriculture has been taking the blame for algae blooms in Llangorse Lake, scientists now believe the large amount of geese using the area are the real cause with their droppings.
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
I fully expect that at some point in the future that they’ll find that microplastics get trapped by macrophages inside the endothelial wall in our arteries and start the process of atherosclerosis. Just a daft theory of mine but remember where you read it first.

Funnily enough, I said the same thing yesterday in conversation with someone. Would explain the rise in heart disease in recent times.
 
Has anyone done a full and comprehensive sewage sludge test lately? Would they be prepared to post the result on here?
Im pretty sure it won't be any better for microplastics considering that washing machines empty into the sewage system.

With string and bale nets and bits of plastic ending dung, won't most farmland already have plastics in the soil anyway?
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
Im pretty sure it won't be any better for microplastics considering that washing machines empty into the sewage system.

With string and bale nets and bits of plastic ending dung, won't most farmland already have plastics in the soil anyway?

The entire planet is contaminated with micro plastics. From the summit of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Mariana's Trench.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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