An estimated 12.5 million tonnes of plastic products are used every year in agricultural applications, according to the report Assessment of agricultural plastics and their sustainability: A call for action. The report was published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in December 2021. The greater part of these products is used in the vegetable, fruit, crop and livestock sectors followed by fisheries and aquaculture, and then forestry. Some 37.3 million tonnes of plastic products are used in food packaging.
The report identifies a range of agricultural plastic products that are highly likely to cause environmental harm and which should therefore be targeted as matter of priority. These products include fishing gear, products with a high potential for creating plastic and microplastic pollution, products with a high potential for releasing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and non-biodegradable mulching films.
Key recommendations of the report are:
The report is based on data obtained from peer-reviewed scientific papers and research reports by governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as on information from industry experts and relevant trade bodies.
Read more and download the report at FAO website