Plastic Grain Bags

Res #: 19-12A
Number: 19
Year: 2012
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS the rat population in our province has escalated dramatically and RM’s are stringently attempting to control it; and

WHEREAS grain bags, full and empty, are being left too long in fields, providing the perfect home for rats, and

WHEREAS there does not appear to be many regulations currently in place to deal with the proper use and disposal of grain bags other than no burning of the plastic and voluntarily transporting the bags to a regional roller;

BE IT RESOLVED SARM lobby the government to research ways to implement regulations that will encourage producers to use plastic grain bags more responsibly.

Response from Honourable Dustin Duncan, Minister of Environment: 

The Ministry of Environment shares the goal of producers to see the development of viable options for recycling or disposal of plastic grain bags. Growing use of grain bags has implications for landfill operations because of the amount of space the material consumes when disposed in a landfill. Burning plastic materials at low temperatures generates noxious vapors and toxic gases. Viable recycling options will make it easier and will encourage producers to responsibly handle and manage used grain bags while helping to protect the environment.

We have been working on developing a stewardship-based agricultural plastic recycling program. CleanFarms Inc. has been contracted to gather information on the types and amounts of agricultural plastic waste being generated and to identify the manufacturers and retailers of the products. This information is being used to develop extended producer responsibility options such as handling fees. In December 2011, CleanFarms Inc. was contracted to conduct meetings on the creation of an Extended Producer Responsibility Program and to develop draft regulatory content on the subject. Environment will consult with, and solicit input from, agricultural producer groups and SARM before implementation.