Crop Protection

CropLife Europe addresses the plastics waste challenge

11 November 2022, Europe: Pesticides industry reports year-on-year increases in both the container collection rate and the number of countries offering container collection programmes

CropLife Europe has announced new packaging collection achievements related to industry commitments supporting sustainable agriculture. In 2021, 66% of plastic pesticides packaging was collected, and 20 of the 27 EU Member States had container recovery schemes in place.

CropLife Europe announced its six 2030 Commitments to support the transition to sustainable agriculture two years ago. As part of the effort, the pesticides and biopesticides manufacturers of Europe set two circular economy-related goals:  

  • Establish an average 75% collection rate of plastic pesticide and biopesticide containers across EU Member States by 2025; and
  • Ensure that a container management scheme is available in 100% of EU Member States by 2025.

The 66% average 2021 collection rate for all plastic packaging represents an increase of 1% since 2020. In 2020, 19 Member States had had container recovery schemes in place. The 2021 figure represents progress of +1.

“By increasing the recovery and recycling of plastic containers in which pesticides are packaged, our industry is contributing to the EU’s circular economy goals. Objectives are ambitious but more and more farmers and operators are participating in product container collection schemes and realising the importance of plastic recovery and safe recycling.” said Olivier de Matos, Director General of CropLife Europe.

De Matos added: ““Recycling material is a core principle of a circular economy. The plastic containers collected are being recycled and safely transformed into new objects such as protection pipes for underground internet cables, corrugated tubes, concrete moulds, and parking cones.”  More than 83% of the plastic containers collected in the 20 Member States in 2021 were sent for safe and controlled recycling.

Further illustrating its commitment to delivering a circular economy for plastics through partnerships, CropLife Europe has been a member of the European Commission’s Circular Plastics Alliance, a group of 300 organisations representing industry, academia, and public authorities, since February 2022.

Under its 2030 Commitment to protect people and the environment, CropLife Europe recently announced that, in 2021, it had trained 112,193 farmers, advisors and multipliers on best practices for the implementation of Integrated Pest Management, operator safety, as well as water and environment protection, and that it had launched Closed Transfer Systems pilot projects in four EU member states, to reduce operator exposure. First-year results for investment in innovation and investment will be announced in the coming weeks.

Also Read: Value addition and Value creation need of the hour to make agriculture a profitable venture: Fauja Singh Sarari

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