Container Management

Appropriate packaging plays an essential role in ensuring that crop protection products are safely delivered to the end user. The crop protection industry is taking the lead to ensure the development, use and appropriate disposal or recycling of empty crop protection containers is managed sustainably to protect the health of farmers and their communities as well as the environment.

CropLife International’s Container Management Project Team (CMPT) provides guidance and advice to managers of container recycling programs in individual countries on how to establish and strengthen cost-effective, sustainable programs. To see and download the set of guidance documents developed by the CMPT please click here.

As of 2019 there were 56 established container management programs operating in countries around the world. These have been developed over a 25-year period and are often run in partnership between industry and government. The goals of these programs include:

  • protecting both the environment and the operator from exposure
  • appropriate handling and safe disposal of used packaging
  • reducing waste and maximizing recycling
  • ensuring compliance with local packaging regulations and legislation

The crop protection industry’s goal, by 2025, is to continuously improve the farmer return rate, and the number of countries with container management programs, collecting by weight 20% more plastic containers than in 2019, recycling as much as feasible into end use applications. A road map describing how to establish a container management program is available here and materials supporting increases in collection rates is available here.

The plant science industry supports container management programs across three main areas:

1.Research and design of containers

2.Training of distributors, retailers and end-users

3.Implementation of empty container collection and recycling options

Container management resources:

Container Management Systems Around the World

Container management country programs include Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, EcuadorEl Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New ZealandNicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, United States, and Uruguay.

CropLife International has commissioned a tool to support container management programs worldwide and enable country managers to provide a sound environmental, social and economic approach. To access the Web-based Eco-efficiency Analysis Tool, please contact croplife@croplife.org, who will give you a login password. You can also download the user handbook here.