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A Research Guide for Agricultural & Food Systems 401

Project Goals

Partnering Organization: Northwest Farm Credit Services

Project Goals:

  • Identify what progress is being made regarding recycling and/or substituting high volumes of plastics that are being used in agricultural industries.   
  • What resources are available today to farmers as substitutes and what options are available for recycling plastic products?  Are they practical and economical?
  • What recommendations can be made to further make progress? 

A Note About Finding Resources

Among many different types of research resources, this project is going to require finding data pertaining to trends in recycling within agricultural industries, attitudes regarding recycling such materials, and current recycling services within the indsutry. 

Listed below are resources that might assist you with this project. This list is by no means meant to be an exhaustive. Rather it is meant to get you thinking about what sort of resources you might need and where they may come from.

If you have any question, please email me.

Find Data and Government Reports About Industrial Agricultural Plastics & Recycling

Below are some government reports regarding industrial agricultural plastics, pollution, and recycling. 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2021) Report on "Emerging Issues in Food Waste Management Plastic Contamination (PDF)." This report contains broad information on the production and effects of plastic contamination including effects on agriculture. 

The USDA/Cornell University Report "Facilitating Recycling of Agricultural Plastics as a Means for Reducing Environmental/Health Risks from Open Burning and Dumping" provides technical information regarding health issues and trends regarding agricultural plastic recycling. 


The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's report "Assessment of agricultural plastics and their sustainability: A call for action." This report presents the results of a study on agricultural plastic products used globally in a range of different value chains. The study assessed the types and quantities of plastic products, their benefits and trade-offs.


Trade Publications, Business Profiles, and Newspapers

Helpful Industry Resources, newspapers, and trade publications.

  • Nexis Uni - Provides information on U.S. and international private and public companies. Info includes company/non-profits organization descriptions, size, locations, history, and more. You can also search across newspapers and trade publications. 
  • Business Source Complete - Allows you to search company and industry information across popular press, trade journals, product reviews, and much more. Also provides information regarding company and industry profiles. This may be helpful when for searching for information regarding other non-profit organizations.
  • Newspaper Source - This database provides selected full text coverage for 245 newspapers, newswires and other sources. 

For more in-depth information regarding corporate research, take a look at the Company Research Library Guide. 

See also WSU News and Newspaper Research Guide

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