Agricultural sciences company FMC says it will cut the amount of single use plastic waste on farms by 2,000kg, as research reveals 84 per cent of farmers are worried about plastic.
The company announced plans to phase out the supply of measuring cylinders with its Sulfonylurea (SU) product range by 2021 at this year’s CropTec event in Peterborough.
Most SU packs currently have a measuring cylinder on top, but as of 2020, the cylinders will be provided separately by distribution and eventually phased out. Growers will be encouraged to re-use the cylinders they already have.
FMC country lead Simon McMunn said the agriculture sector produces around 85,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year, while the UK as a whole uses five million tonnes.
Market research commissioned by FMC earlier this year revealed that 84 per cent of farmers are concerned about single use plastic waste and two thirds would buy more sustainably packaged crop protection products, if factors such as price were equal.
Of those farmers who said they were not concerned, 56 per cent said it was because they already recycle, while 13 per cent said they use little plastic except chemical containers.
“We’ve listened and have made a move to reduce unnecessary packaging,” said Simon. “By removing measuring cylinders, we will cut the amount of single use plastic waste on farm by 2,000kg, which is equivalent to 100,000 plastic bags.
“This will also reduce packaging by 40 per cent, which will increase storage capacity in warehouses along with reducing carbon emissions from transporting SU products.”
The company has set itself a target to ensure 100 per cent of its global research and development fund is spent on developing sustainable products by 2025.