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    Improving Pesticide Packaging Recovery in Chile

    By Keith R | August 25, 2008

    Topics: Hazardous Substances, Waste & Recycling | No Comments »

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    Last December (while Temas was on hiatus) four Chilean Government agencies and three industry groups* signed a clean production agreement (APL) on pesticides for agricultural use. Among the commitments made under the APL were several regarding recovery of used pesticide packaging, including

    How are they doing toward meeting those goals? The National Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Agricultural Phytosanitary Products (AFIPA) reports that in the first half of 2008 they and the Association of Agricultural Input Distributors (ADIAC) have increased the number of collection centers by 20%, adding four (three in the south, one in the north) to the 20 existing at the time the APL was signed. During the same period they have collected 68,185 kilograms (kg) of plastic pesticide packaging and 2,011 kg. of metal packaging. AFIPA expects to collect 180,000 kg. of plastic (vs. 175,000 kg. in 2006) and 16,000 kg. of metal by year-end (vs. 30,000 kg. in 2006).

    While it is encouraging to see the APL concluded and the increase in collection centers, I am otherwise under-whelmed by the Chilean industry effort on pesticide packaging recovery. AFIPA has been operating its program since 2001, but the best they can promise is 43% recovery rate? Brazil, with a much larger territory, larger pesticide consumption and larger agricultural sector, has already achieved a 63% recovery rate and is increasing that (some Brazilian states with large agricultural sectors have even achieved the high 90’s!). Surely the Chileans can do as well.

    And how are they going to reach that rate by end-2010 if they only plan on increasing collection by 5,000 kg. this year? Perhaps by generating less packaging waste through a major cut in the agricultural sector’s consumption of chemical pesticides? Somehow I doubt that, at least in the time frame promised.


    * The four government agencies were the Health Ministry (Minsal), the National Agriculture Service (SAG), National Environment Commission (CONAMA) and the National Clean Production Council. The three industry groups were the Association of Agricultural Input Distributors (ADIAC), the National Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Agricultural Phytosanitary Products (AFIPA) and the Association of Importers and Producers of Phytosanitary Products for Agriculture (IMPPA).

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