A new tax will make farmers pay more for bale wrap - and could spell the end of the farm plastic recycling scheme.

That's the warning from farm plastic collectors as the plastic packaging tax is to be extended to cover silage plastics.

The plastic packaging tax is to be applied to silage plastic from April 1, 2022, at a rate of £200 per tonne.

This will result in an increase of £5 per roll of bale wrap, warn The Green Tractor Scheme, the organisation that represents independent farm plastic collectors.

What's more, this price hike could jeopardise the recycling of farm plastic since many farmers are already paying a voluntary £60 levy for the APE-UK (Agriculture, Plastics & Environment UK) recycling scheme.

Mark Webb, chair of The Green Tractor Scheme, said: "Farmers should be made aware of and protest against a £200 per tonne plastic tax HMRC are planning to extend to silage plastics.

"This tax was introduced a few years ago on packaging plastic to raise funds for the Treasury; however silage plastic is not classed as packaging plastic as its primary purpose is to protect the silage and help it mature into a valuable feed stock for feeding their animals.

"Packaging plastics are packaging for materials farmers buy, for example fertiliser bags and spray cans.

"This £200 per tonne would add £5 a roll to bale wrap at the time when farmers and the agricultural industry have agreed and volunteered to pay £60 per tonne into an APE recycling recovery scheme for farm plastics.

"The Green Tractor Scheme - the body representing independent farm plastic collectors - believes this HMRC tax could jeopardise farmers paying this voluntary levy and the whole recycling scheme could collapse.

"This HMRC tax also comes at a time when farmers are faced with spiralling costs on many of their other inputs."