Since 2019, in collaboration with several partners, CleanFARMS has been implementing pilot projects aimed at recovering agricultural plastics with the goal of moving toward zero-plastic waste in agriculture.
On October 13, 2021, the Quebec government announced that agricultural plastics will be subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR) principle. Under EPR, manufacturers and the first suppliers of ag-plastics will be responsible for financing the recovery and the recycling of these plastics.
A study by RECYC-QUÉBEC revealed that 11,000 tons of single-use plastic are used each year on farms across the province. More than half of these plastics, or 6,500 tons, are used to package and preserve hay and silage. These plastics play a key role in modern agriculture. We can work together to recover and recycle this plastic. Here’s how:
Plastics recovered in the pilot projects
The success of agricultural recycling programs requires collaboration and partners. Our team works with several stakeholders in the agricultural sector: regions, municipalities, the regional Union of agricultural producers as well as the Federation, retailers and voluntary collection sites, farmers, distributors, recyclers, manufacturers and various ministries, including the MELCC. Cleanfarms also benefits from a financial contribution from the Ministry as part of its projects.
For efficient collection, it is essential to properly sort and clean the plastics. Only clean, dry and sorted plastics will be accepted.
Actions that make a difference:
- Sort each plastic by type
- Do not mix materials
- Remove as much debris as possible by shaking each piece
2 Methods for Ag-plastic Recovery
By plastic categories:
- Shake to remove as much debris as possible.
- Place the plastics separately in Cleanfarms bags (available at the collection site). Using a string, tightly close the bag.
- Return the bag to the collection site. Leave it at the location indicated.
Using a Press at the Farm to Compress the Plastics
Bundle film only, do not mix
Silo bags and tarps can be bundled together. Do not mix them with other plastics.
- Shake off debris and place the clean plastic in the press (again, do not mix plastics).
- Compress it into a bundle
- Return the bundle to the collection site. Leave it at the location indicated.
Leaflet: Press models (in French)
Videos on How to Use the Press (in French)
Ag Plastic Press
CREDDO : Agricultural Plastics Management Project in the Outaouais Region
Compression of Ag Plastics with a Manual Compactor
Ongoing Pilot Projects and Accepted Materials
Film, Silage Bags
Twine, Net, Film, Silage bags, Tubing
More Information (in French)
Twine, Net, Film, Silage bags
Setting-up a method for collecting ag-plastics:
- Long-term sustainability;
- Convenient for farmers;
- Beneficial to the environment.
- Identify the best ways to recycle plastics or to extract energy from them.
Implementing a permanent province-wide agricultural plastics recovery and reclamation program.
Stages in Setting up a Permanent program
|STAGE TO BE CONFIRMED|
2022 AND 2023
|Final Phase||Phase 3 – Ongoing||Phase 2 – Completed||Phase 1 – Completed|
|Transitioning to a permanent province-wide program||CleanFARMS collaborates with 27 MRC partners from 5 administrative regions: Chaudière-Appalaches, Montérégie, Outaouais (CREDDO), Estrie and Laurentides||4 pilot projects in Montérégie:
||RECYC-QUÉBEC’s National Agricultural Plastics Studies.
First CleanFARMS pilot project held in the MRC des Maskoutains allowing data collection.