Cleanfarms to Research Options to Manage Agricultural Plastic Waste in First-of-its-Kind National On-Farm Study

Connector January 2020

A first-of-its-kind national scale research project that will provide critical information to help agricultural plastic producers and Canadian farmers boost their ability to recycle agricultural plastic waste is starting.

The two-part research project will be led by Canadian agricultural waste expert, Cleanfarms. It is a national, non-profit, industry stewardship organization established in 2010 to help Canadian farmers recycle or properly dispose of waste agricultural plastic and other waste materials that have to be managed on farms at end of life.

Cleanfarms will first quantify the types and volumes of on-farm plastic wastes and then identify facilities that can manage or recycle these waste streams, in order to create a more circular economy for agricultural plastics.

“Farmers are looking for options to manage the plastics they use on the farm in environmentally sustainable ways,” says Cleanfarms General Manager Barry Friesen. “The work we’ll be doing will help advance our understanding of what is out there, drive on-the-ground solutions to help manage these plastics, increase recycling rates, and improve our ability to incorporate higher levels of recycled content in plastics products.”

By combining industry research, on-farm visits and interviews with farm operation experts and potential plastics end-market buyers, this project will provide accurate and updated data, which is key to improving end-of-life management of agricultural plastics, and increasing the quantities of agricultural plastics that are ultimately recycled and brought back into the economy.

Additional details about this project will be available online at www.cleanfarms.ca throughout January 2020.

One of Cleanfarms’ first priorities will be recruiting farmers to participate in on-farm visits. These visits will help researchers develop a better understanding of usage patterns that impact how well plastics are recycled at end of life.

This project will support the Canadian comprehensive federal agenda to address plastic waste and pollution and increase our knowledge and evidence base about plastic waste. It will encourage innovative action along the lifecycle of agriculture plastics in order to support Canada’s goal of zero plastic waste.

This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada.

For more information

Kim Timmer
timmerk@cleanfarms.ca
877-622-4460 ext. 2229

About Cleanfarms

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. Learn more at www.cleanfarms.ca.

Source: Cleanfarms