The disposal system for agricultural packaging PAMIRA is not only more profitable than alternative ones; it also causes the least ecological damage in the overall perspective. This is certified by a comprehensive eco-efficiency analysis, whose result was reviewed by PE INTERNATIONAL.
“The results of this analysis demonstrate that we are following the right way with PAMIRA. The German plant protection industry considers itself responsible for its products and the disposal of the packages is an important aspect in this regard”, comments Volker Koch-Achelpöhler, chief executive officer of the industrial association Agrar, on the survey.
The eco-efficiency analysis on PAMIRA was ordered to evaluate possibilities of system improvement and estimate alternative approaches concerning logistics and further processing. In the course of this analysis, six hypothetical alternative models were compared with the actually realised collections of the years 2007 and 2008 and were examined by BASF SE with regards to costs and environmental impact. Afterwards, the results were reviewed by PE INTERNATIONAL.
The actually applied PAMIRA system includes the possibility for farmers to return their packages to the 273 collection points, which are established within the trade sector, once a year for four days. Within the eco-efficiency analysis, the data which was collected in the course of these collections was compared with alternative scenarios, such as two collection dates in a year, collections throughout the year and two models which contain that disposal companies fetch the packages from the farmers, etc. But the eco-efficiency analysis revealed that, by applying these alternative models, not only the system costs would almost increase fivefold due to a great number of additional trips, but that the environmental impacts would seriously aggravate as well.
PAMIRA is a voluntary redemption system which is successfully applied nationwide by the German plant protection industry in collaboration with the trade sector since 1996. Through PAMIRA, the industry wants to ensure that its packages only get into controlled disposal channels. In this way, in 2009, a total amount of 2400 tons of package material was redeemed through the system and led to further processing. The rate of return of the packages sold accounted for approximately 75 percent.