An alliance was recently signed in Honduras to improve and strengthen the process of recovering plastic containers from the field, which will increase the volume of recovered rigid plastic that will go to cement kilns as energy recovery, highlights José Perdomo.
In the case of Honduras, we support a management model in which the different actors in the chain participate, all united in the search for an environmental solution for the empty pesticide containers. The idea for this integration was born from one of the authorities that regulate the agrochemical sector, specifically the National Service for Agrifood Health and Safety, SENASA, who, upon learning about the CampoLimpioSM program run by our local association AHSAFE, took it as the basis for the project; today it has the support of the entire crop protection and fertilizer industry, the cement company CENOSA and the authorities. A similar model is being implemented in the Dominican Republic, adds Perdomo.
These partnerships are clear examples of a larger concept known as shared and extended responsibility, which is clearly explained in the FAO International Code of Conduct for Pesticide Management.
Another of the success factors of the CampoLimpioSM program is the regulation that obligates the entire agricultural chain to participate in the process of recovering and disposing of the containers and its effective control by the competent local authorities. In this regard, Perdomo adds that in countries where there are mandatory standards, the percentage of containers collected is much higher, which indicates that we must go in that direction; to have standards that force and sanction those who do not comply. The farmer must wash the containers, make them unusable and take them to a collection center; marketers and all manufacturers must ensure the management of these collection centers and transport the containers to their final destination, be it a cement kiln for energy recovery or a recycling plant that complies with all environmental permits or licenses. Thus, we all actively join in moving towards a more sustainable agriculture and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically number 12, on responsible production and consumption, and number 17 on partnerships.
The standardization of the container collection and disposal programs in Latin America under the CampoLimpioSM brand is another key to the success of this program, which was born 30 years ago. Today the CampoLimpioSM brand is highly positioned; it is a service brand owned by CropLife Latin America that is licensed to the National Associations affiliated to our network, so that they can execute the program under established parameters, assures Perdomo.
Thirty years ago, when we began voluntarily as an industry to promote the program in the region, it was difficult to have an echo with farmers, marketers, other manufacturers that are not part of CropLife Latin America, and with the authorities. However, despite the difficulties, we managed to start projects in the 18 countries of the region, because the program offers a solution to a need for the farmer, and that is to get the containers out of the field. Twenty years ago, Brazil issued a regulation that obligates and assigns responsibilities to all the actors in the chain regarding the empty pesticide containers. Today Brazil recovers and recycles almost 100% of the empty pesticide containers. Since then, and in line with greater environmental awareness, different countries have implemented regulations and laws that require responsible disposal of these containers. Today, many exporters are required to demonstrate with certificates that their packaging has been responsibly recycled in order to export to their destinations; there is no going back to the past, it is towards the future that we must focus and with CampoLimpioSM we are creating it responsibly, says Perdomo.
*CampoLimpioSM, is a trademark registered by CropLife Latin America
SM: Service Mark.