Effect of Environmental Weathering on Biodegradation of Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films under Ambient Soil and Composting Conditions

Marife B. Anunciado, Douglas G. Hayes, Anton F. Astner, Larry C. Wadsworth, Christina Danielle Cowan-Banker, Jose E. Liquet Y Gonzalez & Jennifer M. DeBruyn
Plastic mulch films contribute to better crop production. Concerns for lack of sustainable disposal methods for conventional polyethylene (PE) mulch led to development of biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs) that can be soil-incorporated or composted after use. Environmental weathering of BDMs during crop growth reduces their mechanical strength and alters the molecular structure of their polymeric components. However, the impact of weathering on BDMs’ biodegradability is not fully understood. The biodegradability of agriculturally weathered and unweathered...
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