OFA provides comments on single-use plastics and management methods proposed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in the Integrated Management Approach to Plastic Products to prevent waste and pollution. Plastic alternatives will replace many single-use plastics, but there will also remain strong demand for many compostable and biodegradable plastic items. It is important that replacement material be completely degradable and that it is safe to landfill these materials. OFA is piloting collection of bulk plastics that are integral to farm production processes, to ensure rural and northern farmers are availed plastic waste management. OFA strongly recommends that any efforts to reduce plastic usage not compromise either food safety or food quality as food packaging is critical in maintaining safe and nutritious food.
OFA supports research initiatives introduced in the Integrated Management Approach document to standardized sampling and evaluating the effects of macroplastics and microplastics. OFA values efforts to ensure consistent monitoring of soils, post-digestate materials and compost materials. Further, OFA recommends research on the extent of decomposition of biodegradable, compostable, biobased, and oxo-degradable plastics in natural environments. OFA recognizes that this includes working with Indigenous communities, local governments and authorities, scientists, and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean, and well-managed. Agricultural stakeholders are interested in contributing to this issue and OFA looks forward to working with Agriculture, Environment and Health ministries towards these ends.