Using, Storing and Disposing of Plant Protection Products

Those who use, or cause or permit others to apply, plant protection products (PPPs) or who store and/or dispose of products are subject to a number of legal requirements.

These are derived from EU Legislation (Directive (EC) No. 2009/128). For details, go to the European Commission website. The legislation applies in all EU Member States. The Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations, 2012 help implement this legislation in the UK. The UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides details legislation applicable to users, those who cause or permit use and distributors. It also details other mechanisms and measures we use to ensure products are used, stored and disposed of in a sustainable fashion.

Key points to note are that:

  • Use of PPPs should be considered as part of an integrated programme of control. The Voluntary Initiative and Amenity Forum provide practical advice on how this can be done.
  • Anyone who applies PPPs as part of their professional activities must hold a recognised specified training certificate.
  • All those purchasing professional PPPs must reasonably believe that products are used by someone holding a specified certificate.
  • Distributors must ensure they have sufficient staff available at the point of sale to advise customers on the use and risks arising from the use of PPPs and how they can be managed.
  • All application equipment, except knapsacks and hand-held equipment, must have a certificate demonstrating that it has passed an officially recognised test conducted by the National Sprayer Testing Scheme. Equipment has to be tested on either a three, five or six yearly basis thereafter depending on when the most recent test was conducted and the type of equipment (details are available in the National Action Plan ). All equipment must be calibrated on a regular basis.
  • Aerial spraying of PPPs must be done in accordance with a permit obtained from HSE.
  • Users, or those who cause or permit use must ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to protect human health and the environment, applications are confined to target areas and in certain areas (including public spaces and conservation areas) that the amount used and frequency of use is as low as reasonably practicable.
  • Priority is given to particular products where there are risks to water quality.
  • Professional users and distributors take all reasonable precautions to ensure handling, storage and disposal operations do not endanger human health or the environment.
  • Storage areas are constructed in such a way as to prevent unwanted releases of products

Advice on using, storing and disposing of PPPs is available from a number of sources including the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products and from the Voluntary Initiative and Amenity Forum. The law does not require anyone to follow this guidance, but by doing so individuals and organisations will be in a good position to demonstrate that they have been duly diligent in meeting legal requirements.

The current version of the Code of Practice pre-dates current EU legislation and should be read in conjunction with our accompanying guidance note.

Codes of Practice

Further Information

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Updated 2021-10-07