Reducing carbon emissions, one recycled container at a time

Friday, June 29, 2012

We all have ideas about how to make a better world. One we believe in at Bayer CropScience is that product stewardship can go a long way toward protecting the planet.

The ongoing collaboration of our employees and customers addresses the importance of proper stewardship of leftover product and packaging to help reduce carbon emissions. It’s now standard business practice for our manufacturing sites, as well as for many of our customers—whether they are on the farm or in the warehouse—to return empty jugs and returnable containers for cleaning and recycling. Through a relationship with St. Louis-based Tri Rinse, we can help assure the chemical residue and packaging they return are disposed of properly.

Proper disposal can point to some impressive results. We all know that recycling plastic bottles conserves energy and reduces consumption of petroleum and natural gas. Sometimes we overlook the impact of plastic recycling in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2011, Bayer CropScience and its customers recycled 1.9 MM pounds of plastics at Tri Rinse. Using a GaBi tool for measurement, it is estimated this cut CO2-e emissions by 1377.5 tons. (Based on an estimated average net reduction of 1.45 tons of CO2-e per ton of recycled plastic.)

So what does this mean for the planet? Considering that driving a large car creates 0.88 lbs. of CO2-e per mile, 1377.5 tons of CO2-e would equal the emissions generated by traveling 3.13 million miles. That’s equivalent to driving 125 times around the world at the equator! Put another way, it is equal to the CO2 absorbed by 230 acres of forest, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture calculations that one acre of forest absorbs six tons of CO2.

We have big ideas about helping to protect the planet. But it’s the actions all of us take, small and large, that make a difference. By working together, leveraging our expertise and sharing our successes, we can inspire each other and cultivate ideas and answers that can help benefit our company, our customers and our communities.

To learn more about the impact of plastics recycling on greenhouse gas reduction visit:, or

About the author:

Brian Wood is the head of contract manufacturing for North America for Bayer CropScience.


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