Land analysis of agricultural plastic waste production in a South Italy area by means of a geographical information system
Plastic materials have been worldwide applied in agriculture for soil mulching, greenhouse covering, irrigation and drainage pipes, bags, containers, pots, and agrochemical containers. All of these plastic materials require, at the end of their lifetime, suitable collection and treatment systems. Agricultural activities in some areas of the Apulia Region, Southern Italy, are characterized by huge quantities of plastic wastes and local authorities and farmers associations have been interested in solving this problem by applying modern land management tools such as Geographical Information System (G.I.S.). In this paper a G.I.S. methodology is applied to an area of 10,200 ha in the Trani municipality, included in the Province of Barletta, Andria, Trani (BAT) - Apulia Region, in order to assess the agricultural plastic waste generation. The use of plastics at the agricultural farms has been investigated and related to the land use by applying statistical analysis, orthophoto analysis and remote sensing surveys. These data were introduced in a specific geo-database, and the agricultural plastic waste quantity and localization were defined. Vineyards and olive groves are scattered in this area, so the agricultural plastic waste mostly consists in irrigation pipes, after-use covering films and anti-hail nets used on vineyards. The analysis carried out showed that up to 614 kg ha-1 of covering films waste are yearly produced in some areas while the estimation of waste from the anti-hail nets was up to 159 kg ha-1 and the waste yearly produced from irrigation pipes was up to 83 kg ha-1. Through the use of the G.I.S., the areas with high density of plastic wastes were pointed out thus allowing to determine the suitable location of temporary storage areas and collecting points, in order to optimize the transport of agricultural plastic waste from the farms to the collecting points and to the recycling firms.
Loisi, R.V., Sica, C., Blanco, I., Schettini, E., Scarascia Mugnozza, G. and Vox, G. 2017. Land analysis of agricultural plastic waste production in a South Italy area by means of a geographical information system. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1170:579-586
waste disposal, G.I.S., land management, sustainability