Ag plastics are important tools that help farmers store feed for their livestock, bring crop inputs to their farm, and control moisture.
This three-year, government funded project will increase farmer access to recycling programs and explore ways to deliver long-term, permanent programs. These programs will help Canadian farmers continue to improve the sustainability of their operations.
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.
Cleanfarms’ Building a Zero-Plastic-Waste Strategy for Agriculture is divided into three main activities. We will update this page as these activities unfold.
A grower survey will track farmer attitudes and behaviours related to agricultural plastics over the course of the project.
This activity is divided into two parts:
- Fall 2020 – This research has been fielded and the survey results are in. The data provides important baseline information and input into pilot project development. Research was completed in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.
- Fall 2023/Winter 2024 – This phase of the grower survey will provide important measurements that will determine how access to recycling programs has improved and farmer uptake.
Key stakeholders, including producer groups, municipal associations, suppliers and recyclers will be brought together to build a path forward to manage agricultural plastics. Consensus building activities are divided into two sessions:
- Winter 2021 – The first round of consensus building took place virtually. The sessions were largely educational and outlined the program development process. Stakeholders also provided input into program development. Sessions were held with stakeholders in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Maritimes.
- Winter 2024 – This next round of consensus building will bring stakeholders back together to evaluate long term options and the project’s success.
Pilot projects provide hands on experience, demonstrate proof of concept, determine what collection and processing options are currently available and help explore end markets. Ag intensive regions across Canada have been selected to participate in pilot projects. Updates and information can be found on the provincial pages linked in the above menu.
Agricultural waste data
With the financial support of the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, two important data gathering exercises were completed to help inform this strategy:
- An ag waste characterization that provides up to date figures on the types and volumes of on-farm plastic wastes used on Canadian farms.
- An end market assessment identifying facilities that can manage or recycle on-farm plastics wastes in order to create a more circular economy for agricultural plastics.
What types of ag plastics recycling programs are available in my province?
Learn more about what types of Cleanfarms programs are available in your province.
How are regions selected to participate in pilot projects?
The goal of the pilot projects is largely to test out different logistics, communication tactics and collection mechanisms in targeted areas. This will allow Cleanfarms to determine if the pilots will work on a larger scale. Cleanfarms is primarily working in regions where farmers have shown interest in participating, and collection sites have some familiarity with pilot programming or ag plastics recycling.
October 1, 2021: ‘End-market Study for Used Ag Plastics Helps Cleanfarms Plan Future Farm Recycling Programs’
August 25, 2021: ‘Cleanfarms Launches Pilot Project to Recycle Used Farm Plastics in B.C.’s Regional District of Fraser-Fort George’
August 3, 2021 – Cleanfarms Releases Findings of Benchmark Research Detailing On-Farm Generation of Agricultural Plastics
June 25, 2021 – Peace River Regional District Farmers Can Now Recycle Used Grain Bags and Baler Twine at No Cost in Cleanfarms Pilot
June 18, 2021 – Cleanfarms Pilot Gives Farmers Access to Free Recycling for Used Ag Plastics
June 8, 2021 – Cleanfarms Collecting Agricultural Baler Twine in PEI for Recycling
June 4, 2021 – Bruce Farmers Working with Cleanfarms on Ag Zero Waste Strategy
December 10, 2020 – Cleanfarms Launches Saskatchewan Pilot to Collect Baler Twine for Recycling
September 16, 2020 – Three-year Cleanfarms Project Focusing on Improving Ag Plastic Recycling
Ag Forward: Article 6 – November 2022
“Newsletter produced jointly with “Alberta Ag-Plastic. Recycle It!” project”