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Canada pumps millions into farm waste recycling schemes

Canada’s government is investing over CAD 4.5 million (EUR 3 million) in five different projects to improve the recycling of agricultural plastic waste.  

More than CAD 1 million (EUR 670 000) will go to Cleanfarms, a non-profit industry organisation. Its executive director Barry Friesen says the funds will significantly boost the recycling of plastic waste on Canadian farms. Besides, the funds will support recycling of plastic baler twine. There was previously a pilot project dedicated to baler twine, that will now be expanded into a fulltime project.

Friesen observes that 2020’s corona virus challenges created a delay in getting container collection programmes up and running across Canada. Despite this, Cleanfarms is ‘optimistic’ that the agricultural sector may have set a new record for returning small pesticide and fertiliser containers (23 litres and under) for recycling.

Indeed, farmers appeared to be more eager to return empty containers than ever before. Cleanfarms expects this positive momentum will help top the 65% collection rate maintained the last few years. ‘In 2019, farmers brought back nearly 5.5 million containers so we have a big number to top,’ Friesen reports.  

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