Biobased biodegradable nets for horti- and agriculture

Nets are increasingly used in agriculture and horticulture to improve the quality of crops, increase yields and reduce labor. However, once they have fulfilled their function, these nets are difficult to recycle therefore often remain in the soil, which ends up being polluted.

In this project Hendriks Graszoden (international turf supplier) , Tenax (producer of plastic netting) and Wageningen Food & Biobased Research are working on the development of biodegradable netting. PTTMCC is supporting the project by supplying the necessary materials. The project focuses specifically on the development of nets for turf production. Biodegradable nets are developed that fit into current production methods and will start to biodegrade after they have fulfilled their function.

The project shows how the rate of biodegradation of specific bio-based polymers can be controlled by adjusting the composition of the materials. In addition, it is being studied how the processing of these polymers into nets can be improved.

Thanks to the developed knowledge, within this project  prototypes of biodegradable nets for grass turf are produced. In this application, the nets must retain their full functionality for over a year before the biological degradation process starts. However, the knowledge that has been developed in the field of controlled biodegradability can also be used for other applications in agriculture and horticulture. The results of the project are therefore also interesting for other crops and markets. This implies that the project can  contribute to the reduction of the use of non-degradable plastics in agriculture and horticulture and beyond.