Following a successful six-year pilot program in Saskatchewan, environmental non-profit Cleanfarms will establish 20 grain bag collection sites in 2018, with more sites planned for 2019.
Regulated by The Agricultural Packaging Product Waste Stewardship Regulations, and funded in part by the Ministry of Agriculture, the new program that begins March 2018 will include an environmental handling fee of $0.25 per kilogram, which will be paid at the point of purchase effective November 1, 2018.
“This makes Saskatchewan the first province in Canada with a regulated agricultural plastics recycling program,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said in a statement. “I’m pleased that our province is a leader in agricultural plastics recycling, and that our producers and sellers will have a program for grain bags to be responsibly recycled to protect our environment.”
The Ministry of Agriculture funded a grain bag recycling pilot program from 2011 to 2017 operated by Simply Agriculture Solutions. Through the program, 4,209 metric tonnes of material was shipped to recyclers – equivalent to approximately 28,000 grain bags.
“We know that Saskatchewan farmers want to do the right thing for their land and communities,” Cleanfarms General Manager Barry Friesen said in a statement. “Our team is looking forward to being part of this new work and to help farmers be even more sustainable.”
The program provides a responsible option for producers to return these large, heavy bags for recycling to prevent environmental harm from open burning or improper disposal.