Zero-Waste Agricultural Mulch Films for Crops in China (ZEWAMFI)

Lead Participant: Wells Plastics Limited

Abstract

The project will develop cost competitive agricultural mulch films for arable crops that will perform during use

but degrade thereafter with no negative impact in terms of producing micro-plastics/ or leaving un-degraded

plastics in soil. Agricultural mulch films have been introduced in semi-arid zones in China to make efficient use

of limited water supplies and increase crop yields in the production of staple food crops (rice, maize, and

potatoes). Commonly used mulch films are made of polyethylene, which when buried in the ground show very

limited levels of degradation. On the long-term, this plastic waste accumulation impact on soil microorganisms

and soil fertility, thereby threatening advances in terms of increased food production.

This project is targeting the design of a cost-competitive advanced-polymeric material that would secure that

they will be stable during use, but once buried in soil, (after useful life) they will degrade in the presence of

suitable enzymes/ soil microorganisms.

Publications

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