An independent, peer reviewed journal for policy makers and practitioners in agriculture and related industries, assessing the interactions between population growth, resources, the environment and climate change.
Plastic film mulching has played an important role in Chinese agriculture owing to its effects on soil warming, moisture conservation and weed control.
It has increased grain and cash crop yields by 20%–35% and 20%–60%, respectively. In 2014 plastic film covered 18.14 Mha and the amount of plastic film used reached 1.41 Mt.
Despite the benefits of plastic film mulch technology, widespread use has generated large amounts of mulching plastic waste.
This has …
Plastic-film mulch is widely used to increase the productivity of crops, vegetables and fruit trees in cold and arid or semiarid regions of China.
Use increased from 6000 t, covering 0.12 million ha, in 1982, to 1.2 million t, covering almost 20 million ha, in 2011. The thin (4-8 µm) polyethylene film used in China is slow to degrade, easily damaged, difficult to reuse for a second season and difficult to remove.
Residual plastic in the top 0.3 m soil layer is now estimated …