Reducing the environmental impact

Using an exclusive and innovative recycling process, Think Plastics Inc. has created two unique products while helping to alleviate a major environmental problem – the disposal of white agricultural bale wrap and greenhouse covering.

According to Statscan Census 2001, there are 59,728 farms in Ontario covering 4.5-million acres. There are 2.3-million cattle and calves on 34,000 farms – more than 20% of those in Central Ontario.

Cattle and dairy operations purchase the most agricultural bale wrap; in 2000 alone it’s estimated that 3-million pounds of white polyethylene (PE) plastic was used in Ontario to wrap forage. Census figures also show that Ontario nurseries use 49-million square feet of PE plastic for greenhouses. Approximately 75% of the province’s 2,012 nursery operators are located in central and southwestern Ontario.

Until Think Plastics Inc. began its collection and recycling program, these scrap plastics were landfilled or burned. Previous attempts to recycle the scrap failed because there was too much dirt content and manufacturers could not use the material. Washing the plastic was attempted, but it was not economical.

Think Plastics Inc. has developed an innovative manufacturing process that works. From 2006 until August 2008, Think Plastics Inc. collected more than 1.8-million pounds – or 818 tonnes – of scrap plastic from the agricultural and nursery sectors.  Imagine two entire football fields stuffed with plastic film – piled four-feet high. Imagine that plastic in the landfill. Imagine it being burned. That’s what would be happening without our program.