BioPBS-based, biodegradable nets for horti- and agriculture

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationProfessional


Agricultural and horticultural netting is widely used to improve crop quality, increase yield and reduce labour during harvesting. A major drawback of the plastic netting is their disposal: currently used non-biodegradable plastics, like (oxo-degradable) polyethylene and polypropylene, can accumulate in soil as visible and invisible plastic waste. Recycling of the plastic netting is labour intensive and difficult because nets are highly contaminated with soil and organic materials. Within the past 2 years PTTMCC, Hendriks Graszoden, Tenax and Wageningen Food & Biobased Research worked on the development of bio-based, in soil biodegradable netting that assists the harvesting of grass turf. The aim of the project was to develop turf-netting that retains its functionality during its functional lifetime (12-18 months) and starts to biodegrade in soil after harvesting and application of the grass turf. BioPBS was selected as the base material for this application as it degradation characteristics in soil are in the same order of magnitude as those of the required application range. Further tuning of the biodegradation rate was done by polymer blending and use of functional polymer additives. In this presentation we will show the soil degradation of multiple PBS-based compounds over time. These compounds were subjected (as sheets) to soil degradation lab and field tests. At set times samples were taken for optical and mechanical characterization in order to monitor the biodegradation progress. In doing so it was identified how to modify the BioPBS compound formulation in order to steer the biodegradation rate. Furthermore, the results of multiple industrial processing trials performed at Tenax will be shown. These trials led to the development of complex bi-axially stretched BioPBS netting demo-products. The effect of the processing onto the biodegradation profiles will be discussed as well. In summary, this presentation will show the results of a fruitful 2 year collaboration on the development of biobased and biodegradable grass-turf netting including contributions from parties throughout the whole product value-chain.
Period30 Nov 20203 Dec 2020
Event title

15th European Bioplastics Conference 2020

Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational