The nation’s crop protection industry has gone through a major transition in delivery of crop protection products during the past 30 years, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims new regulations have been long overdue, Therefore, the August 17 requirements for improved pesticide containers to be used and for non-updated mini-bulks to be piled and no longer used means some major changes are taking place.

David Flakne, 2010-2011 Mid America Croplife Association president and state government relations manager for Syngenta Crop Protection, at the opening of the association’s Mini-Bulk Summit, Part 2, in St. Louis, on June 7 explained how 30 years ago pesticides were delivered in steel drums then transitioned to small plastic jugs and eventually reached the situation of bulk and mini-bulk handling.

Nancy Fitz, EPA chemical engineer and the technical lead for the pesticide container regulations, has being making educational presentations about the changes in the law for the last three years, and now those regulations are going to go into effect for mini-bulks in a little more than a month.

Fitz highlighted aspects of changes and then went into details in an approximate 50-minute presentation.

The group of about 100 attendees—mostly representatives of major crop protection companies, state agricultural industry associations and large multi-outlet ag retailer operations—heard Fitz and then went to the Tri-Rinse Inc. headquarters where 14 older mini-bulk containers of various types were on display. A message of what would have to be done to each container to have it meet new regulations was attached to each mini-bulk.

Tri-Rinse also had a portable recycling unit in operation. The demonstration showed how plastic mini-bulks can be chewed up and spit out in small chunks. It was noted that 56 mini-bulk containers could be loaded on a 56-foot semi-truck trailer, but after being chewed up and bagged, the 56-foot trailer could carry 400 mini-bulks back to Tri-Rinse facilities for further recycle processing.

The mini-bulk summit continued Wednesday, June 8.