Agricultural plastics area significant contributor to solid waste disposal problems, particularly in areas with heavy use of plastic-covered greenhouses or mulch films. Field-burning and landfilling are no longer viable options for disposal in many areas. Reuse and reduced weight of films are two methods to reduce the amount of material requiring disposal. Recycling, incineration, and on-site degradation appear to be the most-promising technologies for disposal. Each technology has its drawbacks. These include dirt and pesticide residues on mulch films, the presence of stabilizers and photoactivators, possible limitations to recycling mixtures of types of plastics, and high costs for recycling and incineration facilities. This is an active area of research for many members of the American Society for Plasticulture.
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