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Canada invests $ 4.5 million in agricultural waste management projects for the growth of bioeconomy

Canada's Agriculture Minister has created jobs around the bioeconomy that the projects will create, which "will help Canadian farmers remain leaders in sustainable and climate-smart agriculture."


Pumpkin harvesting in Canada.

Canadian farmers are looking to reduce waste, and plant-based plastics are an increasingly popular alternative as part of a growing Canadian bioeconomy. Creating exciting new options for Canadian farmers, while supporting them in the responsible management of plastic waste on farms, is helping to build a healthier economy and environment.

This Monday, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food of Canada, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the financing of more than 4.5 million dollars for five new projects that will improve the management of plastic waste and sustainability in farms, and promote bioplastics research. These organic farming projects will help Canadian farmers continue to be leaders in sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.

The minister made the announcement in conjunction with Cleanfarms, a national nonprofit industry management organization. Cleanfarms will receive up to $ 1.1 million through Canada's Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program to develop a strategy to responsibly manage the estimated 60,000 tons of plastic waste generated on Canadian farms each year. Her project will increase farmers' access to recycling programs and explore ways to offer permanent, long-term programs that will help Canadian farmers continue to improve the sustainability of their operations.

The other recipients are:
  • EcoEnviro Labs Inc., which 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 totally biodegradable and compostable way of less waste to produce the necessary mulch in the agricultural sector of Canada.

  • Titan Clean Energy Projects Corp., which will receive up to $ 1 million through Innovative Solutions Canada to test a food grade bioplastic, ideal for prepared fruit or vegetable packaging, that biodegrades more quickly and results in fewer landfills and options more sustainable for grocery stores and shoppers.

  • TerraVerdae Bioworks Inc., which will receive up to $ 1 million through the Clean Agricultural Technology Program to develop a new generation of biodegradable bioplastic films and injection molded products that target agricultural applications such as mulch films and seed trays. The project aims to displace conventional petroleum-based agricultural plastics.

  • Red Leaf Pulp Ltd., which will receive up to $ 495,000 through the Clean Agricultural Technology Program to support research and product testing for a straw pulp biopolymer for use in the wood and pulp industry, and in the production of low-carbon fuels and renewable natural gas. The project aims to displace plastic and polystyrene containers.
The announcement complements Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's broader commitment to Canada's bioeconomy. Together, these investments highlight the Government of Canada's commitment to sustainability while growing the bioeconomy and creating economic opportunities and jobs.

"Canada's agriculture sector continues to develop innovative tools and approaches to ensure its operations are sustainable. Today's funds will help farmers find ways to better manage their plastic waste and help advance the work necessary to convert waste from crops and other agricultural by-products into renewable energy. This is beneficial for our hardworking farmers, the environment and Canada's bioeconomy, "said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

"Our government wants to support entrepreneurs and small businesses whose ideas address some of today's biggest challenges. By investing in innovative and sustainable work in bioplastics testing from small businesses like EcoEnviro Labs Inc. and Titan Clean Energy Projects Corp., our government contributes to the economy and supports Canadian farmers, as well as Canada's fight against global warming, "said François-Philippe Champagne, Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

"The Government of Canada is committed to the sustainability and growth of the bioeconomy. Today's announcement will not only create new recycling programs and opportunities, but will also improve sustainability and operations within agriculture. These new projects will help local farmers to remain leaders in sustainability, climate-smart agriculture, "said Yvan Baker, Member of Parliament for the Etobicoke Center.

"Plastics are a valuable tool in modern agricultural operations that allow them to work efficiently and productively. But when farmers can no longer use these materials, they want more opportunities to handle them in an environmentally responsible way. With this support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Cleanfarms can develop practical in-ground recycling solutions for agricultural materials such as bale wrap, grain bags and twine. New options for managing materials like this help farmers operate sustainably and contribute towards a sustainable environment. healthier environment and a circular economy for plastics", said Barry Friesen, CEO of Cleanfarms.

According to Statistics Canada, there are already more than a quarter of a million cleantech jobs in Canada, with an average salary of more than $ 90,000. Along with these investments, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has invested nearly $ 20 million in research and development through the Bioproducts and Biomass AgriScience research groups.

Funding announced under Innovative Solutions Canada is based on funding of $ 150,000 for each of these companies announced in August 2019.

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