34There is an increasing need for the crop protection industry to continue to develop new products and delivery systems which are optimized with regard to safety, environmental behavior, biological performance, and cost. Innovative formulations and packaging systems will have to make a major contribution for industry to reach these goals. In the last 10 years, much progress has been made in the design and development of new formulations and packaging options. In particular, by reduction of organic solvents in liquid formulations, the environmental impact and toxicity of products may be reduced. A reduction of dermal toxicity may be obtained by encapsulation of the active ingredient. Improved worker and environmental safety is also achieved by replacing powders with water dispersible granules which eliminates dusting during handling, or by packaging them in water soluble film, which offers a variety of advantages. Seed treatment provides an elegant way to minimize the amount of chemical needed by placing it directly at the spot where it is needed at the right time.
In terms of packaging strategy, waste reduction and improved handling safety are prime objectives. Refillable container programs aimed at larger growers and custom applicators will contribute to the reduction of one-way packaging and associated secondary packaging. For smaller growers and also for the use of highly active compounds, the introduction of solid formulations and gels, which can be packaged in water soluble film, completes the strategy to achieve a reduction of packaging waste.
In this chapter, examples of new formulation and packaging concepts will be presented and an overview of future trends will be given.