Ag plastic recycling – March 2020 updates

The first quarter of 2020 is once again a busy and productive few months for the Cleanfarms team.

Our team is working hard on preparations for the upcoming collections across the country. At the same time, we’ve been able to connect with many of our users at events like the London Farm Show and the Canadian Horticultural Council’s (CHC’s) Annual Meeting.

Ag plastics recycling: a long term commitment

The London Farm Show was a great opportunity for some of our newer team members to learn about our diverse agricultural sector and hear directly from the Ontario farmers who make use of Cleanfarms programs to manage empty pesticide & fertilizer containers and seed & pesticide bags.

We heard consistently that farmers appreciate the programs and consider them integral to their operations. But that’s a two-way street: I never miss the opportunity to tell farmers how much our team appreciates the contributions Ontario ag-retailers (and others across Canada) make by acting as a collection sites for these voluntary, industry-funded programs and the growers who take time to bring their materials in for collection.

At the CHC Annual Meeting, I had the chance to share updates on a new national study that aims to quantify the types and volumes of on-farm plastic wastes and then identify facilities that can manage or recycle them. We’re excited to hear so many growers are as committed as we are to develop long term solutions to help manage their ag plastics.

More federal interest in plastics

The CHC meeting coincided with news that Ottawa intends to designate plastics as toxic substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), and this led to a discussion about broader plastics management and the proactive approach already underway in agriculture.

Our team has been watching federal activity on plastics diligently over the past year and will continue to do so. The following resources may be helpful to those interested in learning more on this topic:

As always, we encourage our stakeholders to reach out to our team with questions and suggestions about end of life stewardship for ag plastics. We are your ag waste management team and we’re here to help.

Author: Kim Timmer, Cleanfarms’ Manager of Stakeholder Relations

Cleanfarms, Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, is best known for its empty container recycling program and unwanted pesticides and old livestock medications collection campaign. The organization is also involved in ag plastics recycling initiatives across the Prairies.