Am­bi­tious re­cy­cling ob­jec­tive

The Glengarry News - - News -

By Peggy Brekveld,

Vice Pres­i­dent, On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of Agri­cul­ture As Canada’s on-farm plas­tic re­cy­cling pro­gram cel­e­brates 30 years of turn­ing old jugs into new op­por­tu­ni­ties, the or­ga­ni­za­tion be­hind it has set a new chal­lenge for the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try. Clean­farms is call­ing on farm­ers to make 2019 the year that ev­ery on-farm plas­tic jug is re­cy­cled.

Clean­farms cur­rently re­cov­ers about 65 per cent of the plas­tic con­tain­ers that are placed in the Cana­dian mar­ket­place for use in agri­cul­ture. Re­cov­ered agri­cul­tural plas­tics are re­cy­cled into new prod­ucts that in­clude farm drainage tile, flex­i­ble ir­ri­ga­tion pipe and garbage bags.

Dur­ing this year’s Earth Week, Clean­farms is cel­e­brat­ing 30 years of col­lect­ing plas­tic jugs across Canada that are 23 litres and smaller for re­cy­cling.

The On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of Agri­cul­ture (OFA) con­grat­u­lates Clean­farms on the suc­cess and longevity of the Clean­farm pro­grams and en­cour­ages On­tario agri­cul­ture to rise the chal­lenge of re­cy­cling ev­ery sin­gle plas­tic jug used on the farm this year.

OFA also rec­og­nizes the need to sup­port longer-term ini­tia­tives to re­duce over­all lev­els of waste pro­duced in our in­dus­try. We re­cently sub­mit­ted a pro­posal to the On­tario Min­istry of the En­vi­ron­ment, Con­ser­va­tion and Parks in re­sponse to its Re­duc­ing Lit­ter and Waste in Our Communitie­s dis­cus­sion pa­per. OFA’s sub­mis­sion out­lined the needs of the agri­cul­ture sec­tor and our ru­ral and north­ern communitie­s, and our most im­por­tant rec­om­men­da­tion in­cludes en­gag­ing di­rectly with farm­ers to find cost-ef­fec­tive di­ver­sion and pro­cess­ing so­lu­tions to farm waste. Re­duc­ing waste is of­ten be­yond the reach of farm­ers and de­pends on man­u­fac­tur­ers to help de­velop vi­able re­duc­tion and re­cy­cling strate­gies.

OFA sup­ports a model for waste re­duc­tion that uses ex­ist­ing re­sources in­clud­ing Clean­farms to as­sess our cur­rent and fu­ture needs for plas­tic waste re­cov­ery, plas­tic use re­duc­tion and di­vert­ing plas­tic to other uses.

On­tario agri­cul­ture knows that di­vert­ing plas­tic from land­fills con­serves land, en­ergy, wa­ter and labour re­sources. Re­cy­cling also sup­ports healthy soil and re­duces green­house gas emis­sions. These ac­tiv­i­ties are all vi­tal to our thriv­ing agri-food sec­tor and ru­ral communitie­s. OFA con­tin­ues to work with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment as it moves for­ward on plans to re­duce waste and lit­ter to en­sure changes in­clude vi­able, af­ford­able op­tions for our in­dus­try. In the mean­time, let’s all rise to the 100% re­cy­cled chal­lenge for plas­tic farm jugs this year.

Read OFA’s full sub­mis­sion to the Min­istry of the En­vi­ron­ment, Con­ser­va­tion and Parks at ofa.on.ca – click on Re­sources, then Sub­mis­sions and Cor­re­spon­dence for our let­ter on re­duc­ing lit­ter and waste.

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