Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association - Page 17

      Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association A not-for-profit organisation

Protecting the environment with oxo-biodegradable plastic

Oxo-biodegradable plastic has useful applications in agriculture and horticulture

.For many years farmers and growers have used plastic sheets to protect their crops and to inhibit weeds, but after the crop has been harvested many thousands of square kilometres of dirty plastic have to be removed and disposed of.

This is a very expensive process, and creates huge quantities of contaminated waste, which cannot be burned, or recycled into useful products.

Oxo-biodegradable plastic sheets can however be programmed at manufacture to degrade soon after the harvest. The degraded material can then be ploughed into the soil where it completes the biodegradation process and becomes a source of carbon for next year's plants.


Oxo-biodegradable plastics have been used as protective films in agriculture in many countries (including USA, China, Japan and the EU). They are applied to the land in the same way as straw to retain moisture and to increase root temperatures.

On 20th May 2003 the Development and Cooperation Committee of the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the European Commission not to fund environmentally harmful projects in the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) countries.

The Committee specifically called on the Commission to encourage the use of biodegradable materials in the banana-growing process in ACP countries who benefit from the EU's Special Framework of Assistance for suppliers of bananas.

Mulch film trials in Pembrokshire 30.09.13

Agriculture and Horticulture