Mitigating land pollution through pesticide packages: The case of a collection scheme in Rural China

Shuqin Jin, B. Bluemling, Arthur Mol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Pesticide packages that are discarded on agricultural land can contaminate water bodies and pose a threat to the environment and human health. Little is known about how developing countries deal with this kind of land pollution. While in developed countries, packages are collected by professional organizations, the smallholder context in developing countries makes the collection of this waste much more difficult. This paper introduces and analyses a successful Pesticide Package Collection Scheme in one of the poorest regions in China, i.e. Guangxi Province. The purpose of the paper is to analyze and discuss how such a scheme can be established by multiple actors. The paper finds that the underlying success factors for establishing such a scheme are 1.) that a scheme piggy-bags on existing economic structures that reach out to farmers (e.g. associations); 2.) that the scheme itself facilitates actors' exchange of resources to establish a temporary resource equilibrium; 3.) that all stakeholders obtain returns on their investment, even if the quality and time scale of these returns may differ. The initiation of the scheme by a pesticide company however increased both its political and market influence. Caution hence has to be paid to whether the short-term improvement in land pollution happens at the expense of a dependency on and increased use of certain kinds of pesticides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502 - 509
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Land pollution
  • Pesticides
  • Packaging waste
  • China
  • Institutional arrangement
  • Waste collection


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