Hallertau produces nearly one third of the global hops production, which is used to flavour beer around the world. Only female flowers are used in the production of the drink. What happens to the rest of the plant? Traditionally, the plant is chopped and used as a soil conditioner. At the time of harvesting, however, there is no need to fertilise the soil; hence, the waste needs to be stored.
There is also another problem: the presence of iron wires that are used to tie the plant to the supports. Their presence creates issues for transport and for use as a soil conditioner. Without adequate pre-treatment, the plant is unusable.