The ability to feed populations worldwide depends on the use of items made of plastic in the business of agriculture. From packaging crop input products like pesticides, fertilizers, inoculants and seeds, to crop storage products such as grain bags and silage or bale wrap – items made of plastic have become near ubiquitous and are widely recognized as essential tools used in agriculture.
In Canada, approximately 62,000 tonnes of plastics are estimated to be used on farms annually. Increasingly they are recovered for recycling or safe disposal through programs provided by the Canadian not-for-profit producer responsibility organization (PRO), Cleanfarms.
Cleanfarms operates six permanent programs across 10 provinces that span more than 10 million square kilometres, and 190,000 farms. They do this by offering collection services in partnership with over 1,500 retail and municipal collection sites. Additional pilot programs are also in progress to assess & determine how best to recover and manage ‘next frontier’ materials in a continuing push to ‘Make it 100%’ – an aspirational recycling goal featured in many of its educational materials.
The Canadian federal government has recently announced development of legislation to require recycled content minimums in packaging and labelling, in addition to banning certain single use plastic items. While agricultural plastics are not immediately targeted by federal legislation, Cleanfarms and its members have always aimed to act in advance of legislation – and essentially – to do things right.
Experience and examples from European countries and other leaders in the agricultural sector are ready to be shared and will help set the path for continued leadership practices from this sector in Canada. Register and join us to find out how leaders are managing agricultural plastics.