New state project looks to help farmers manage excess plastics

Cris Collingwood//June 6, 2022

New state project looks to help farmers manage excess plastics

Cris Collingwood//June 6, 2022

The state is looking to develop a sustainable agricultural plastics recycling program. 

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding PHOTO/PROVIDED

State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced funding is available for interested parties to take part in the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Project (APRP) which is designed to assist Pennsylvania farmers to better manage their used agricultural plastics. 

 “Agricultural plastics are often single-use items that serve a specific, initial purpose, but eventually become a waste product,” Redding said. “Landfilling plastics is both an expense and an environmental hazard. Recycling agricultural plastics through programs like APRP is both an environmental and economic choice. It allows resources to be reused without cost, making it a win for farmers and the environment.” 

 APRP is a statewide pilot program with a focus in Adams, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties. 

 The program is designed to develop and strengthen agricultural plastic recycling systems by facilitating local initiatives within the agriculture and recycling communities; integrating existing materials management infrastructure; and seeking markets for recovered agricultural plastic. 

 Examples of agricultural plastics include, but are not limited to, silage bags, bunker silo covers, bale wraps and twines, hoop house covers, planting trays and containers, row covers, and mulch films. 

 APRP is made possible through monies secured from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The grants do not require matching funds. 

 Payment of grant funds will occur on a reimbursement basis. An advance payment option may be available with written submission of justification and subsequent approval of the Department. 

 Proposals must be submitted by June 8 at 5 p.m. online using the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Electronic Single Application.