Reduction of the environmental impact of the agronomic solutions of mulching and crops protection

M. Feydeau
The global use of agricultural plastic films, which includes films used for greenhouses, mulching, and silage, is expected to grow 69% from 4.4 million t in 2012 to 7.4 million t in 2019. This increase is due to benefits such as increase in soil temperature, reduced weed pressure, moisture conservation, reduction of certain insect pests, higher crop yields, earliness and more efficient use of soil nutrients. Today, many questions appear concerning the use of these plastic solutions in agriculture, mainly concerning their environmental effects. In this presentation, we aim at explaining the reduction of the impact of plastic solutions on the environment. First, as a major player in the recycling of used plastic films from household film, to industrial films and agricultural films, the manufacturing of high quality agricultural films using recycled materials has increased. Integrated in the circular economy, the use of post-consumption raw materials enables to produce in a more sustainable way. Furthermore, removal and recycling of some plastic solutions such as mulching films, with a low thickness, are very complicated due to a high contamination with soil and water. These used plastics are then difficult to recycle and to integrate in new products. They will be at some point forbidden for recycling and will be put in landfill. For polyethylene films in low thickness, alternatives are developed using biodegradable raw materials. The biodegradation of the films produced with biodegradable materials leads to carbon dioxide and water through microbial activity. These biodegradable materials are mainly applied as mulching film for different cultures and cultivation process.
Feydeau, M. (2019). Reduction of the environmental impact of the agronomic solutions of mulching and crops protection. Acta Hortic. 1252, 115-120
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1252.16
recycling, biodegradable raw materials, agricultural plastics

Acta Horticulturae