NFU DEPUTY President Peter Kendall has called for more work to be done to develop a national collection scheme for used pesticide containers.

“The NFU is talking to the CPA and AIC about how we can take the containers issue forward,” he told delegates at the NFU Cereals Conference (Oct 27).

“The rest of Europe [northern states] already have pesticide collection schemes in place.”

A transparent and cost effective scheme that covers the whole country is required, he said.

“This sort of scheme is essential to the industry.”

A small charge on the price of every pesticide can sold could help a national collection scheme get up and running, he suggested.

Farmers must be able to demonstrate they can act responsibly to keep pesticides out of water, if the industry is to avoid compulsory regulations, such as a pesticide tax, he said.

There are already a number of ways farmers are showing government they can control pollution responsibly, Mr Kendall added, citing the Voluntary Initiative as a good example.

Good progress had been made so far, but the industry must keep pushing to make sure all targets are reached, he said.

Getting more Crop Protection Management plans signed up was the main challenge the VI faced this season, he said.