Moose Jaw, SK (April 19, 2021) – This week, April 19 to 25, is Earth Week and with it comes a reminder to Canadian farmers that the annual agricultural plastic jug recycling program is about to start again, says Cleanfarms, the national stewardship organization that recovers agricultural waste like plastic jugs for recycling.
Cleanfarms’ program for empty containers runs from May to October coast to coast, and during that time more than 1,100 collection locations work with Cleanfarms accepting millions of empty plastic containers 23L and under for recycling. The program keeps these resource materials out of the environment and reinvested in the circular economy.
Last year alone, Canadian farmers brought back more than 5.5 million empty containers bringing the total since the jug collection program began more than 30 years ago to 137.4 million containers returned for recycling.
Cleanfarms estimates that, as of 2019, the three-year average collection rate has increased to over 70% of the containers returned for recycling, up from the previous rate of 65%. The recycling rate for 2020 will be released in June.
“We’re challenging Canadian farmers to make a commitment this Earth Week to bring back all of the ag plastic jugs they use in their farm operations. We want 100% of them this year,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen.
“Our research shows that farmers want ag waste management programs that help them fulfil environmental responsibility goals and to operate their farms more sustainably for themselves and for future generations. They are eager to participate in programs that help them keep their farms and farm communities clean,” he added.
In addition to empty small plastic ag containers for pesticides and fertilizers, Cleanfarms also operates:
- a nation-wide recycling program for large non-deposit plastic totes and drums for pesticides and fertilizers
- a nation-wide collection and proper disposal program for unwanted pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine medications
- recycling programs for grain bags and twine on the prairies, and
- a disposal program for seed and pesticide bags in eastern Canada and fertilizer bags in Quebec
“Cleanfarms works with farmers and farming organizations to set up recycling and responsible disposal programs that give farmers peace of mind that these waste resource materials are managed responsibly when they are no longer needed or wanted,” Friesen said.
Recycled agricultural plastics are manufactured into new products such as farm drainage tile, flexible irrigation pipe and plastic bags.
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 and grain bag industries. It has staff located in Lethbridge, Alberta; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Ottawa and Etobicoke, Ontario; and St-Bruno, Quebec.