A year of partnerships to drive sustainability in Canadian agriculture

Once used, farmers prepare materials for recycling and drop them off at Cleanfarms collection sites as part of the process of expanding sustainable management solutions for agricultural waste.

ETOBICOKE, ON (May 30, 2024) – Cleanfarms has posted its 2023 annual report, highlighting the new strategic direction of Cleanfarms for Canadian farmers to manage agricultural plastic products and packaging through recycling and safe disposal.

This year’s report sheds light on the partnerships and industry collaboration that provide opportunities for farmers and producers to be even more sustainable. Beyond the well-established collection system for pesticide and fertilizer containers and seed bags, new Extended Producer Responsibility Programs (EPR) began in Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

New EPR programs in Quebec targeted materials including maple tubing, feed bags, peat moss and animal bedding bags, twine and plastic films for silage and hay. In Prince Edward Island, new programs targeted silage wrap, twine and fertilizer bags.

“The important EPR updates in Quebec and PEI are an indication of the need for more sustainable solutions for agricultural suppliers and Canadian farmers, who care about doing the right thing with their ag waste,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director, Barry Friesen. “We’re proud to be able to provide those solutions and will continue expanding our programs to meet the needs of the industry and the individuals in it.”

“As new programs roll out, we are committed to continue working together with the entire ag value chain to ensure the programs are as cost effective, efficient, and accessible for farmers as possible,” Friesen explained. “The vision that was established by Cleanfarms board members in 2023 provides guidance with a solid plan to build conditions for success and help develop a circular economy in agriculture over the years to come.”

A circular economy for agricultural plastics is another driver for Cleanfarms operations, with a goal to ensure that plastics collected through Cleanfarms operations can be recycled into new, useful products on Canadian farms, rather than ending up in landfills or the environment.

“In 2023, our recycling programs not only reduced what went to landfill, but we also prevented over 9 million kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from entering the atmosphere. Through Cleanfarms programs, the entire agricultural industry can make a tangible contribution to sustainability– it all adds up,” said Friesen.

In the 2023 annual report, Cleanfarms highlighted the total collection volumes of agricultural materials since the inception of the programs (rounded):

  • Plastic pesticide and fertilizer containers 23L and smaller – 56.3 million kg
  • Non-refillable bulk pesticide and fertilizer drums and totes – 482,000 units
  • Seed and pesticide bags – 3.82 million kg
  • Unwanted old pesticides – 4.53 million kg
  • Old, obsolete livestock/equine medications – 74,500 kg
  • Grain bags, agricultural film and baler twine plastic – 16.9 million kg
  • Maple tubing (in Quebec only) – 914,000 kg

Cleanfarms collects ag waste materials through valued partnerships with more than 1,500 recycling collection sites across Canada.

About Cleanfarms

Cleanfarms is an agricultural industry stewardship organization that contributes to a healthier environment and a sustainable future by recovering and recycling agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products. It is funded by its members in the crop protection, seed, fertilizer, animal health medication, peat moss, animal bedding, feed, ag plastics, and maple tubing industries. It has staff located in Lethbridge, Alberta; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Etobicoke, Ontario; and St-Bruno, Quebec.



Contact: Margot Beverley | 705-796-8829 | beverleym@cleanfarms.ca