Over $4.5 million for agricultural plastics recycling and research announced

Five projects focused on improving agriculture plastic waste management and bioplastics research will see a share of $4.5 million in funding via the federal government.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced the funding today alongside Cleanfarms, a national non-profit industry stewardship organization.

Cleanfarms will receive up to $1.1 million through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program, to develop a strategy to increase farmer access to recycling programs and explore ways to deliver long-term, permanent programs that will help Canadian farmers continue to improve the sustainability of their operations.

“Plastics are a valuable tool in modern farming operations enabling them to work efficiently and productively. But when farmers no longer have a use for these materials, they want more opportunities to manage them in an environmentally responsible manner. With this support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Cleanfarms can develop practical on-the-ground recycling solutions for agricultural materials like bale wrap, grain bags, and twine. New options for managing materials like this help farmers operate sustainably and contribute to a healthier environment and a circular economy for plastics,” says Barry Friesen, executive director of Cleanfarms.

EcoEnviro Labs Inc. will receive up to $1 million through Innovative Solutions Canada to advance testing of a new organic bioplastic mulch made from poultry feathers. This could serve as a lower-waste, fully biodegradable, and compostable way to produce mulch, needed in Canada’s agriculture sector. Also through Innovative Solutions Canada, Titan Clean Energy Projects Corp. will receive up to $1 million to test a food-grade quality bioplastic, ideal for fruit or prepared vegetable containers, which biodegrades more quickly and will result in less landfill and more sustainable options for grocery stores and shoppers.

Rounding out the list are TerraVerdae Bioworks Inc. and Red Leaf Pulp Ltd. TerraVerdae will receive up to $1 million through the Agricultural Clean Technology Program to develop a new generation of biodegradable bioplastic film and injection molded products that target agriculture applications such as mulch film and seed trays. The project intends to displace conventional petroleum-based agricultural plastics. Red Leaf will receive up to $495,000 through the Agricultural Clean Technology Program to support research and product trials for a straw pulp bio-polymer for use within the wood and pulp industry, and in the production of low carbon fuels and renewable natural gas. The project intends to displace plastic and Styrofoam packaging.

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