Cleanfarms has a new, innovative initiative underway that is helping to recover and recycle plastic used on farms. When completed, the multi-year project will provide more Canadian farmers with increased opportunities to manage plastic waste in environmentally responsible ways.
In Saskatchewan, the project will include pilots to collect and recycle twine. Watch for more on those in the coming weeks.
Entitled ‘Building a Zero-Plastic Waste Strategy for Agriculture’, the project has three broad-based objectives:
• to survey growers to establish current patterns of disposal before and after pilots and education programs;
• to build consensus on the appropriate management of non-organic agricultural waste; and
• to demonstrate best practices in ag waste management through pilot programs conducted throughout Canada.
The grower survey will also launch shortly. The insights from the survey will inform the development of potential pilot projects throughout the agriculture sector to demonstrate best practices in ag waste management.
Canadian agriculture currently uses about 40,000 tonnes of plastics annually in the process of growing crops and raising livestock, most of it in plastic containers, grain bags, twine and bale/silage film. Though plastic is essential throughout the farming industry, managing the end of lifecycle of plastics is a big challenge that requires forward-thinking solutions.
“We know farmers want more opportunities to manage agricultural waste materials in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen. “This project will identify additional options for farmers and agricultural suppliers to incorporate sustainability practices more broadly in their daily operations. In today’s economy, with the emphasis on sustainability and circular thinking, we have a responsibility and a great opportunity right across this country to improve recovery and recycling numbers.”
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), a $50.3 million, five-year investment to help the agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive.
Visit www.cleanfarms.ca for more information.
Cleanfarms, Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, is best known for its recycling program for empty, commercial pesticide and fertilizer containers and for its unwanted pesticides and animal health medications collection program, both of which are available across the country. Cleanfarms also operates Saskatchewan’s regulated grain bag recycling program.