Strawberries grow through plastic film (photo by Soeren Stache/Photo Union via Getty)
According to a study this week, China is a world leader in using plastic film mulches to increase the productivity of crops. Now, China needs to lead the world in removing plastic residues that damage its arable land.
Just a few days ago, the Chinese government seemed to be hinting at the upcoming release
That would prohibit the use of very thin plastic film coverings.
"We found that due to the increase in soil temperature (+ 8%) and moisture (+17%), the use of plastic mulch can indeed increase the average yield by 25%-42% in the near future," Yuan research published on April 12,
. "However, the film residues that continue to remain in the field will have a negative impact on the physical and chemical properties of the healthy soil and threaten food production in the long term."
In the United States, plastic film is usually seen on strawberry fields. But China has been using it all over the world, especially in arid regions. The first year of crop production increased and farmers became wealthy.
However, this study led by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the University of Melbourne shows that the same plastics now threaten productivity and wealth.
The meta-analysis incorporated the results of 110 peer-reviewed studies, and concluded that the residues of plastic mulch would damage crop yield, plant height, root weight and soil characteristics, including soil water evaporation capacity, soil water permeability, Soil organic matter and soil available phosphorus.
China estimates that 550,800 tons of plastic residues left in farmland come from plastic films that are not fully recycled.
The author writes: "These physical soil changes help explain the reduction in root weight, which in turn affects the absorption of nutrients by crops, and ultimately leads to a decline in crop yields."
The authors admit that the short-term benefits of plastic film coverings are so great that although they recommend thicker films and biodegradable films, the question is not whether the film should be stopped.
They wrote: “Instead, the focus should be on mitigation strategies for the recycling of plastic film after use.”
"The Chinese story has also sounded the alarm about the use of plastic film in other developing countries. That is to say, recycling plastic film or using biodegradable plastic film is very important to protect our farmland."
The corn sown in Maryport is covered with a biodegradable plastic protective film-
I have been researching energy and the environment since 1985, when I discovered that my university was throwing radioactive waste in the trash can. This story happened in the Republic of Arizona,
I have been researching energy and the environment since 1985, when I discovered that my university was throwing radioactive waste in the trash can. This story happened in the Republic of Arizona. Since then, I have been pursuing electronics and pollutants-daily newspapers in Arizona and California, and other weekly magazines including "New Era" and "New City", have contributed to modern Forbes "The chase of online innovators. I have gone far, including the counter-revolutionary war in Nicaragua, the world earthquake in San Francisco, the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and Paris. I also teach journalism, argumentation and scientific writing at the University of Chicago. Email me: http://bit.ly/JeffMcMahon