CropLife Europe, an association advocating for sustainable, innovative and science-based crop protection solutions, 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.
The 66% average 2021 collection rate for all plastic packaging represents an increase of 1% compared to 2020. Additionally, in 2019, only 19 Member States had container recovery schemes in place, one less than in 2021. “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”, said Olivier de Matos, Director General of CropLife Europe.
The association 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: establishing an average 75% collection rate of plastic pesticide and biopesticide containers across EU Member States by 2025 and ensuring that a container management scheme is available in 100% of EU Member States by 2025. Olivier de Matos, Director General of CropLife Europe
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.Olivier de Matos, Director General of CropLife Europe
More than 83% of the plastic containers collected in the 20 Member States in 2021 were sent for safe and controlled recycling. “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”, de Matos added.
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, illustrating its commitment to delivering a circular economy for plastics through partnerships.
Under its 2030 Commitment to protect people and the environment, the association has also recently announced that, in 2021, it 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. In addition, it launched Closed Transfer Systems pilot projects in four EU member states to reduce operator exposure.