Cleanfarms is encouraging farmers to return even more empty single use jugs than last year.

“And that is no easy challenge,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen. “In 2021, Canadian farmers returned more than 6.2 million small empty containers, up 12.5% over the year before. Farmers are doing a great job which means we’re closing in on 80% of the containers in the marketplace. But we’re not stopping there. We’re going after 100%.”

The Cleanfarms’ recycling program keeps these plastic containers, which are a valuable resource material, out of landfill and the environment, and reinvested in the circular economy. Since the ag plastic container recycling program began more than 30 years ago, Canadian farmers have brought back more than 143.6 million empty containers for recycling.

Recycled plastic from pesticide and fertilizer jugs are made into valuable agricultural products such as flexible drainage pipe and plastic bags.

In addition to empty small plastic containers for pesticides and fertilizers, Cleanfarms’ programs include:
• a nation-wide recycling program for large non-deposit plastic totes and drums for pesticides and fertilizers
• recycling programs for grain bags and baler twine,
• a nation-wide collection and proper disposal program for unwanted pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine medications, and
• a disposal program for seed and pesticide bags and fertilizer bags in Quebec

Cleanfarms also operates pilot projects in partnership with other organizations across Canada including the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), and Alberta’s Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group. Through these pilots for plastic ag products such as baler twine, bale wrap, silage wrap and silage tarps, Cleanfarms collects data on efficient collection, transportation and recycling practices to help transition pilots to permanent programs.

“Recycling programs for ag plastics help give farmers peace of mind that these resource materials are managed responsibly when they are no longer needed or wanted on the farm,” added Friesen.