New grain bag environmental fee to fund Saskatchewan recycling program

Although it’s a bit late in the year to be buying bags for grain storage in Saskatchewan, you’ll notice a price difference the next time you plan to purchase them due to a newly-imposed environment handling fee.

At the beginning of the November, the Saskatchewan government added a 25 cent per kilogram fee on the price of the bag, based on weight and size. This fee is part of the province’s grain bag recycling program. The fee will be non-refundable.

According to the news release, estimates suggest that 15,000 to 20,000 grain bags are used in the province every year.

On an average bag that weighs 125 kg, the Environmental Handling Fee (EHF) would start at about $31 and increase proportional to the total weight of the bag.

Farmers who choose to import bags from outside the province will also subject to the fee.

The 25 cent fee was decided on by a six-year pilot project that focused on recycling in which the Agricultural Packaging Product Waste Stewardship Regulation was established in the summer of 2016.

By adding the fee, producers will be able to recycle their old bags in an environmentally friendly way. The fee also covers the transportation of the bags to end markets and admin fees, after deducting end-market revenues.

Right now, more than 20 collection sites can be found in Saskatchewan. With funding assistance for the 2018 program provided, in part, by Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture through the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 initiative, 15 additional collection locations will be added in 2019.

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