Researchers have found that the plastic mulch used to support the growth of Californian strawberries sheds large quantities of plastic mulch fragments. These particles have been shown to negatively impact soil qualities, casting doubt on the long-term viability of their use. The findings from the survey are likely to apply world-wide to plastic use in agricultural production.
Presenting their work at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Lyon, postdoctoral researcher Dr. Ekta Tiwari (from Sistla group at California Polytechnic State University) said “What we are seeing a huge quantity of macroplastic plastic material—particles bigger than 5mm across—being shed where the mulch is used to enhance strawberry production. These can remain in the soil for decades or longer.”
Read more: phys.org