ETOBICOKE, ON, Dec. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - A recent study reveals there is
just over 3,400 tonnes of plastic waste generated through agricultural
activity in the Maritimes. Of that, two-thirds is disposed by farmers
each year while the remaining third leaves the farm as packaging
material on products destined for retail stores and households. Very
little of the on-farm waste is recycled.
"The study shows there are a lot of different types of plastic waste on
farms that can be recycled," says Barry Friesen, general manager of
CleanFARMS, the national stewardship organization that conducted the
"We know farmers are willing to participate in stewardship schemes
because they participate in our existing programs. Now we have the
information we need to develop new programs to benefit farmers and the
Plastic packaging waste that stays on farms to be managed by the farmer
totaled 2,100 tonnes. About 70 per cent of this waste is low-density
polyethylene (LDPE) plastic from bale film and silage wrap. Other items
include plastic fertilizer and pesticide film bags, seed bags and
Packaging that leaves farms in the province weighed in at 1,300 tonnes
which includes plastic and mesh bags, plant pots, trays and plastic
CleanFARMS currently operates a recycling program for empty pesticide
and fertilizer containers, an empty paper bag recycling program and an
obsolete pesticide collection program that is free to farmers. There
are currently a number of pilot projects in place to help divert the
plastic waste products, but the study found that more programs are
needed in areas of concentrated farm activity.
Funding for the study came from the Canadian Plastics Industry
Association, the Resource Recovery Fund Board (RRFB) Nova Scotia and
"The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is pleased to help sponsor
this study. The results show both the benefits and diversity of plastic
materials used by the farming community," says Cathy Cirko,
vice-president, Canadian Plastics Industry Association. "We see an
opportunity to work with CleanFARMS in the future to help develop
programs to assist farmers recover these waste materials responsibly."
"This research will be valuable to municipalities or businesses who are
looking for ways to better divert waste plastics from Nova Scotia
landfills," says Brennan Gillis, business development officer, RRFB.
CleanFARMS will use the results of the study to develop stewardship
programs for the types of waste identified so farmers in the Maritimes
are able to dispose of their waste in environmentally sustainable ways.
"We've had tremendous success with farmers participating in our current
programs," says Friesen. "We see an opportunity to build on our
existing initiatives to develop programs to manage all on-farm waste."
CleanFARMS is Canada's leading agricultural waste management
organization. It currently operates a national collection program for
empty pesticide and fertilizer containers, an obsolete pesticide
collection campaign and an empty pesticide paper bag collection
program. To learn more, visit www.cleanfarms.ca.
For further information:
613-230-9881 ext. 3223