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Recovery and recycling success

Global experts on the proper management of pesticide containers met this week in Seeheim, near Frankfurt, to explore ways to build on the crop protection industry’s success in recovery programs in recent years.  For the industry, good container management starts in the development phase – with an emphasis on making containers that are easy to use and easy to rinse. That commitment continues through the use cycle, with industry involved in training on appropriate rinsing and disposal of containers, and creating disposal pick up points. If not disposed of properly, empty crop protection containers pose a potential risk to farmer health and the environment.  “Plastic waste is an environmental issue that concerns us all. Recycling should be everybody’s responsibility, whether you run a household, have a restaurant or work for a big business”, said Jean-Charles Bocquet, Director General of European Crop Protection Association (ECPA).  The European Container Management programs have been developed over a period of 20 years and they are often run in partnership between industry and government. Today the pesticide industry in Europe is participating in 16 CM programs (in 17 countries) and has helped to set up another 9 pilot projects with the ultimate 2020 Vision to establish fully fledged Container Management programs in all European countries and achieve a recovery rate of 75% by the same year.  “In 2013 16,000 metric tones of pesticide containers were collected through 10 European CM programs”, said Detlef Doehnert, ECPA’s project lead for Container Management. “This amount would have filled up 54 Olympic size swimming pools, saved energy use of 30 million liters of petrol, or in other words resulted in more than 5 thousand fewer cars on the road per year. Recycled plastic is also turned into other useful products such as electric conduit, corrugated tubes, electric boxes.”  CM programs benefit the environment by reducing the overall amount of plastic waste whilst maximising the rate of recycling.  “This program demonstrates the commitment of this industry for a cleaner and a safer planet; a truly sustainable approach to container management,” said Doehnert.    •This event is organised by CLI Container Management Project team that ECPA is a part of.