Polymer Additives and the Evolution of The Agricultural Industry
The agricultural industry plays a critical role in mitigating food scarcity concerns, as our population continues to grow. Extending the lifetime and efficiency of agricultural materials remains integral to the future success and sustainability of the agricultural economy. Plastic is useful for applications such as greenhouse and mulch films, silage and bale wrap, netting and more. These plastic artifacts must be capable of withstanding harsh climates, pesticides and significant wear and tear. Accordingly, the addition of additives, such as UV light stabilizers, facilitates the development of durable materials for long-lasting agricultural solutions that contribute to a sustainable, circular industry.
Plastics continue to play a critical role in the agricultural marketplace, and our polymer additive solutions facilitate long-term durability and sustainability, contributing to a circular plastics economy.
Challenges For Plastics in the Agriculture Industry
As one of the world’s most essential industries, agriculture and its prosperity is of significant concern to consumers, manufacturers, masterbatchers and suppliers alike. From a plastics perspective, the industry is committed to continuously finding better solutions to overcome market-wide obstacles and improve greenhouse efficiency. On the other hand, the agricultural industry faces a number of challenges: significant weathering, harsh climates, the application of pesticides and other agrochemicals, growing concern about food scarcity, and increased awareness of the detrimental effects of plastic use.
Accordingly, farmers utilize greenhouses to create ideal conditions and to better control crop exposure to various elements, such as climate and weathering. Greenhouses provide farmers with full control over growing conditions and enable climate optimization to achieve the “greenhouse effect.” Greenhouses contribute to enhanced crop yield by extending the growing season and producing adequate conditions in climates that would generally be considered harsh or inadequate. Agricultural greenhouse films and covers prove integral to greenhouse productivity, as these materials shield crops from excessive UV or agrochemical exposure and other forms of harmful weathering. Farmers expect their greenhouse coverings to outlast their plants’ life expectancy. Failure to meet these film requirements can lead to detrimental deficiencies, breakage, pest infiltration or pesticide damage.
The Role of Polymer Additives in Agriculture
Polymer additives for agricultural plastic films provide several benefits to overcome challenges associated with greenhouse durability and efficiency. Significant improvements can be achieved through melting, evenly dispersing and concentrating high-performance polymer additives via a technology known as masterbatching. Polymer additives contribute to controlled agricultural environments and promote increased crop yield, optimal water usage, agrochemical efficiency and several other advantages.
Solvay’s polymer additives, specifically our UV light stabilizers for agriculture, offer a wide range of benefits for greenhouse films, mulch films, shade cloths, ground covers, pesticide-resistant films and more. CYASORB CYNERGY SOLUTIONS® A430, for instance, promotes a service life of 3 years and maintains excellent thermal protection and UV light resistance for the duration of its usage. Additionally, CYASORB CYNERGY SOLUTIONS® A400 is specially designed to withstand severe forms of polymer degradation that are typical for agricultural films exposed to aggressive pesticides, fumigants or agrochemicals.
The Future of Plastics in the Agricultural Industry
The agricultural industry continues to progress, with polymer additives playing an integral role. Though polymer additives already improve plastic durability, farmers demand longer service lives for their greenhouse components. Solvay’s industry-leading UV light stabilizers for agricultural films facilitate superior protection and longevity, which further increases service life and durability. Solvay’s additives and stabilizers also provide end users with a broad selection of compatible options to improve the performance of recycled polyolefins for agriculture, as these resins become more widely utilized. For these reasons, Solvay’s polymer additives contribute to lower labor costs and a reduction in plastic waste, leading to an improved plastics economy and a more sustainable future.
For more information on how our polymer additives contribute to the evolution of the agricultural industry: