Agrochem firm pledges to cut single-use plastic

Agrochemicals company FMC is cutting single-use plastic waste on farm with the removal of measuring cylinders from its key herbicide range, as part of its drive to improve the environment.

The simple removal of the cylinders from sulfonylurea products, such include Ally Max and Harmony, will reduce 2,000kg of plastic a year, equivalent to 100,000 plastic bags.

Currently, sulfonylurea herbicides are supplied with a cylinder to measure the water-soluble granular formulation, but this will be provided separately from spring 2020 and eventually phased out in 2021.

Overall packaging will also be cut by 40%, reducing carbon emissions from transportation while increasing warehouse storage capacity, the group said.

See also: A guide to farm recycling: the options and costs

Minimise plastic use

Simon McMunn, FMC’s country lead manager, said manufacturers need to reduce their plastic use, as 85,000t of plastic waste is produced by the agricultural sector each year.

The UK government wants to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042.

“If we are to contribute towards the government’s targets, changes need to be made,” he said.

The company commissioned independent market research earlier this year that showed 84% of farmers are concerned about single-use plastic waste, and two-thirds of them stated they would buy more sustainably packaged crop-protection products.

“We’ve listened to what farmers have said and made the move to reduce unnecessary packaging,” Mr McMunn added.