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The World of Plasticulture

Part of the Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology book series (GCST)

Abstract

Since its appearance in agriculture, plastic films have revolutionized this sector with huge benefits in terms of quality and quantity of crops. In the last decades, agricultural films gained not only a great deal of interest and attention but also a big market more and more extended in any country of Europe, America, and Asia, with a constant positive trend that does not know crisis. Plasticulture is a term that indicates the world of plastic films applied in agriculture, ranging from greenhouse covers to mulches, from low tunnels to solarization films, from Totally Impermeable Films (TIF) to photo-selective films. It includes raw material (several kinds of polymers), different types of films, applications, agronomical performances, and the recycling problems. In this chapter, a review of Plasticulture is presented, from historical origins to the films extrusion technique, from their physical properties to the different typologies and uses. In particular, a new generation of agricultural films is described with characteristics, performances, and employment modalities. Finally, the new frontier of plastic films for greenhouse, with open window to UV-B radiation, is presented, considering the huge potentiality for improving further the crops quality and the increase of different nutraceutical contents in fruits and vegetables.

Keywords

  • Agricultural films
  • Greenhouse covers
  • VIF
  • Low tunnel
  • Mulches
  • Photo-selective films
  • Solarization
  • UV-B radiation

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Correspondence to Pasquale Mormile .

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Mormile, P., Stahl, N., Malinconico, M. (2017). The World of Plasticulture. In: Malinconico, M. (eds) Soil Degradable Bioplastics for a Sustainable Modern Agriculture. Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-54130-2_1

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