Issues with plastic in agricolture

 

Wherever we look, we see plastic  – from single-use foodware and packaging to the carpeting, clothing, bike helmets and furniture that surrounds us every day.  Even agriculture has been revolutionized by plastic coverings, mulches and tunnels, increasing crop yields…and leaving a trail of microplastics and leachate in its wake. 

 

The issues are complex, especially as new information about the toxicity of plastic additives continues to build.  What is the threat to human health when plastic crop coverings are plowed back into soil instead of removed?  How is our food supply affected by PFAS chemicals and other persistent toxicants that are frequently added to make plastics carry out different functions? Are the endocrine disrupting chemicals found in many plastics taken up by plants as the plastic covering them is degraded by the sun, and if so, are they influencing behavior and reproduction in humans?

 

Get the latest information on the use of plastic in farming in this interesting article from UNEP, the Environment Program of the United Nations:

 

https://www.unep.org/resources/emerging-issues/plastics-agriculture-environmental-challenge

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