Farmers that use the Irish Farm Plastics bring centre will receive texts advising them on the safe handling and disposal of empty pesticide containers over the coming weeks.

It comes as the Animal and Plant Health Association (APHA) and Irish Farm Plastics (IFP) announce they have come together to promote the safe handling and disposal of used pesticide containers.

Speaking about the partnership, APHA chief executive John Keogh, said the text messages will re-emphasise the importance of following the safe handling methods. He said:

“Appropriate recycling of empty spray cans is an important element of protecting our environment, particularly water bodies.

“Farmers are very vigilant towards environmental protection, and we are asking all farmers using pesticides for weed control or crop protection to be particularly careful around the handling and disposal of used pesticide containers.”

Farmers using the Irish Farm Plastics service will be notified of upcoming collection points for empty spray containers, which will also be available through the company’s website.

Disposal of pesticide containers

As part of the disposal process, used pesticide containers should be rinsed three times back into the sprayer tank. Alternatively, where one exists, the sprayer’s cleaning nozzle, located in the induction hopper can be used.

The rinse material should then be sprayed back out on the land. While doing so, farmers should remember to observe the appropriate distances from watercourses and drinking water extraction points.

The APHA and IFP are also reminding those spraying pesticides that concentrated product or rinse liquid should not fall on hard surfaces around yards, where they are at risk of being washed off into drainage channels

After the used containers are rinsed, they should be stored in a dry, covered area before they are collected.