crop plastics recycling Germany – ERDE

... promoting used film recycling!

Stretch film, silage sheets, underlayer films, asparagus films, perforated films , round bale nets and baler twine – in agriculture, large quantities of plastic products are used year after year, ending up as waste. To ensure that these plastics do not pollute the environment, companies in various sectors have taken a joint initiative to protect the climate and the environment with ERDE - crop plastics recycling in Germany.

ERDE is a recovery and recycling system for crop plastics that actively contributes to sustainable agriculture and efforts to conserve resources.


ERDE - Erntekunststoffe Recycling Deutschland - Together for the environment

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Shared responsibility

Under the umbrella of the IK German Association for Plastics Packaging and Films, manufacturers of crop plastics are standing up for climate and environmental protection. Together with the disposal specialist RIGK, the group developed the ERDE concept with the aim of promoting the recovery and recycling of crop plastics. Through this concept, they voluntarily take active responsibility for the end of life treatment of their products.

ERDE actively engages all stakeholders in the crop plastics cycle:

  • As members of ERDE, manufacturers and initial distributors of crop plastics that supply the German market finance the promotion of their collection.
  • Contractors and farmers who use ERDE licenced products and drop off their used crop plastics, separated and free from residues, at ERDE collection points.
  • Trade, machinery rings, farmers, contractors and disposal companies operate the ERDE collection points.

The system operator RIGK expands the network of collection points, assists in setting up collection points with monitoring staff, carries out the collection and proper documentation and offers the collection points ready-made solutions for communications.

As consumers, farmers also benefit from significantly lower costs when dropping off their crop plastics compared to alternative disposal services. In addition, you receive proof of proper recovery with a formal statement of achieved CO₂-savings.

You can find out who our members are on our ERDE members page ERDE Mitglieder.

Voluntary commitment

All those involved in the ERDE materials cycle benefit from the now high profile of the ERDE initiative in politics and the media.

The voluntary commitment made to the BMU in 2019 to collect and recycle 65 percent of all silage and stretch films put on the market in Germany by 2022 has also contributed to this. This voluntary commitment covers an area that has so far been unregulated by law and is monitored annually by independent experts with regard to the achievement of the targets. By assuming this responsibility for society as a whole, the image of the entire industry could be improved - and of the individual ERDE members.

As a partner of politicians at federal and state level, ERDE is the only take-back and recycling system to offer a nationwide structured drop-off option as well as orderly collection and recycling.

Committed to success in protecting the environment and the climate

Collected crop plastics are whenever possible mechanically recycled using processes that conserve instead of incinerated for thermal recovery. By recycling the materials, important raw materials are fed back into the cycle and CO₂ is saved. – Used plastic products do not end up in the environment, preventing micro or macroplastics from polluting the soil and water.

In 2022, the voluntary scheme ERDE collected and mechanically recycled almost 38,476 tonnes of silage and stretch film.. This is more than 50% of all films sold on the German market in a year!

This success is a clear sign of the wide acceptance of the ERDE system among farmers, machinery rings and agricultural traders.

In 2022 the ERDE initiative was able to save the equivalent of 42,748 tonnes of CO₂. This is the equivalent to the CO₂ bound by more than 3 million trees.

The ERDE Climate Protection Certificate

Process flow

Are distributed by the recycling companies on the free market

Price per ton varies per fraction



• Prepare product for delivery to collection points (cleaning & sorting)
• Bring plastics to an ERDE collection point or order containers.

• Collection partners determine the prices and choose the disposer 
• ERDE pays an incentive per collected and recycled ton
• This leads to attractive/marketable prices for the farmer 

All films collected in ERDE are 100% recycled in Europe, otherwise collection partners do not receive ERDE incentive

Becoming a member

Do you want to take a step further towards sustainability and contribute to the collection and recycling of used crop plastics throughout Germany? Becomea member of ERDE!

Learn more

Become a collection partner

Do you want to operate an ERDE collection point in your region? Find out everything about requirements, implementation and our support services.

Learn more