Quebec farms produce tonnes of unrecyclable plastic waste, study suggests

By Daniel Sucar, Ottawa Citizen, August 3, 2019

The traditional image of an industry that poses a concerning environmental threat consists of towering refineries perpetually emitting carbon into the air or coal mines spewing toxins into the water. But a new study from RECYC-QUÉBEC suggests that some of that concern should be directed toward the agricultural sector, and even the production of maple syrup.

According to the study, Quebec farms generate nearly 11,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year, with only 2,300 tonnes being recycled.

“Right now, there are no options for recycling, as there are no province-wide programs that aim to convert the waste into something reusable,” said Phil Quinn, owner of Île-Perrot’s Quinn Farm. “Our plastic is considered to be contaminated when we’re done with it.”

The market for such agricultural plastics as bailer twine, grain bags, hay packaging and pesticide containers has grown rapidly over the last 20 years, the study says.

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