Emerald out to sparkle on plastic scene
The recycled farm plastic business is set to become more competitive with the arrival of a newcomer to the market this week.
Antrim-based Emerald Isle Plastics already supplies and collects silage plastic from farmers in Northern Ireland through an exclusive deal it has with the Ulster Farmers' Union.
In the space of five years, it has built up to the point where owner Roy Livingston estimates that it collects 35pc of all the farm plastic in the North.
The company has only started supplying plastic to farmers in the past two years.
While the publicity surrounding Emerald Isle's first foray into the Republic claims that the firm wants to save farmers ever having to buy plastic by 'leasing' it to them, Mr Livingston admits that this is purely a publicity stunt.
"We intend to sell all the main brands of plastic to farmers at a price that is in line with other plastic suppliers," he said. "We'll then collect the plastic from them at no extra charge."
Initially, the company is focusing on bale wrap and will be supplying brands such as Silawrap. Emerald Isle currently employs five people at its plant in Randalstown and collects 2,500t of plastic annually.
While this package is limited to customers that buy a minimum of a pallet of bale wrap, which is the equivalent to around 1,200 bales, Mr Livingston feels that the offer will still be attractive to smaller farmers that club together to purchase as a group.