The environmental problems associated with the inappropriate disposal of agrichemical containers has long been recognised overseas. Throughout the world (in developed and emerging economies), product stewardship schemes for the recovery of plastic chemical containers are rapidly increasing. Of the 56 country associations affiliated to Crop Life International, 49 of these have implemented container recovery in some form. These schemes have existed for various lengths of time, with some operating from as early as 1989 (the Netherlands and Canada).
There are common themes that run through these existing global schemes. The most common form of funding is via levies paid by supporting brand owners/ registrants that sell chemicals into the market. In almost all schemes, the annual levy is based on the amount of volume placed on the market by each member.
The main driving factor for the industry to establish these schemes has been a desire to meet or avoid regulation or economic instruments imposed or proposed by governments.
The rising cost of legitimate disposal has also been a driving factor. Farmers are increasingly factoring-in waste management costs when making their purchasing decisions. In some countries, industry has responded by providing a cheaper legitimate option to customers in order to gain market advantage.