As awareness of the issues brought about by agriplastic use are growing, so too is the search for alternative products or methods.
British farms produce 135,500 tonnes of soil-contaminated agricultural plastic waste each year – roughly equivalent in weight to 900 adult blue whales.
Agriplastics are used widely in agriculture to grow and store produce, but are also responsible for widespread pollution, from their manufacture and use to mismanagement at the end of their useful life.
The use of plastics in agriculture (commonly known as ‘agriplastics’) only accounts for 3.5 per cent of annual global plastic usage. However, their design, use and the pollution they cause are devastating and extend far beyond farmland.
Since records began in the late 1980s, over a quarter of a billion tonnes of plastic waste has been traded globally.
Virgin plastic production and consumption have reached unsustainable levels. Overproduction has meant inexpensive virgin plastic is used freely and inefficiently, with unfavourable economics for most recycling, leading to a stark discrepancy between how much plastic is produced and how much is recycled.