October 2020 – Tobacco is the commercial crop that uses the least amount of pesticides, according to several surveys conducted in the past years. Even so, over the past decades, the sector was the predecessor of reverse logistics with regard to empty pesticide containers. On 23 October 2020, the tobacco sector reaches its 20 year success mark in terms of reverse logistics in the disposal of solid residues. More than 17 million pesticide containers have been collected to date.
“The numbers could lead to a questionable interpretation that the tobacco supply chain relies on intensive use of pesticides. But research works conducted over the past decade have attested exactly the opposite: tobacco is one of the commercial crops that uses the least amounts of pesticides and, at same time, one of the sectors that is most engaged in the correct destination of the triple-rinsed containers”, SindiTabaco president Iro Schünke explained.
The first collection took place in the year 2000, in the district of Rio Pardinho, interior of Santa Cruz do Sul (RS). From then till now, 411 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina were visited by the itinerant container collection trucks that stop at approximately 1.8 thousand collection sites in the rural surroundings of the two States. The program benefits a universe of about 117 thousand tobacco farmers in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, with comfort and safety in the delivery of the triple-rinsed containers, in collection sites located near their farms.
As of 2015, the program has changed for the better, facilitating the collection of data and making the management of the itineraries easier. The records previously written by hand, now rely on an application. The data management format of the program encompasses the use of mobile devices (tablets) for entering the amount of containers delivered by the farmer. At the time of delivery, the producer’s record is updated, and the farmer receives a proof of container delivery, which contains the date and the amount of containers delivered.
“With the software, we have an even more efficient program in terms of management, once the report generation process has become easier, speedier and also makes it possible to follow the collection process in real time. Besides compliance with legislation, it was one more investment and a stride towards farmers’ health and safety and environment protection, priority objectives of the program, coordinator Carlos Sehn comments.
A pioneer, the Empty Pesticide Container Collection Program was created in the year 2000, prior to legislation focused on the theme. Conducted in itinerant form by the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco) and associate companies, with support from the Tobacco Growers’ Association of Brazil (Afubra), its main goal consists in preserving the environment and preventing any improper disposal of empty pesticide packaging, thus protecting the health and safety of the tobacco farmers and their families.
Nowadays, the program covers ten distinct itineraries which comprise all the tobacco growing regions in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. In the State of Paraná, similar initiatives run by local centrals are supported by the companies associated with the SindiTabaco.
Check for the whereabouts of the program
LEGISLATION – Since 2002, the aim of the program consists in complying with the standards set forth by legislation in force. In Brazil, in 2002, Article 53, of Decree 4.074, set forth that “users of pesticides and similar products should return the empty containers and their respective lids to the stores where they were purchased “. The legislation also suggests responsibilities for the distribution channels, farmers, manufacturing industries and the government.
BRAZIL SETS AN EXAMPLE – According to data released by the National Institute for Processing Empty Packages (inpEV), 94% of the containers are recycled, and again transformed into containers for the same chemical product, or are incinerated at proper sites. In France, this reusing rate reaches approximately 75%; in Canadá and Germany, 70%, in Japan, 50%, and in the United Sates only 30%.
Cibele Gandolpho – firstname.lastname@example.org – (11) 3169-9331 / (11) 96477-2701
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