The agricultural industry uses well over 600 million pounds of plastic in many forms such as greenhouse and mulch films, row covers, bale wraps, pesticide containers, and plant containers. Studies denote that nurseries consumed 150-180 million pounds of blow molded HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) containers, while the agricultural community as a whole uses approximately 40 million pounds of HDPE for chemically-resistant pesticide containers, 68-182 million pounds of LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) for films and structures, 70-80 million pounds of polypropylene containers, and 50-60 million pounds of polystyrene trays, flats, and plant packs.
Petroleum based plastic products are also used as binders to create a variety of plant growing media. Plastics are used in nets or sleeves to stabilize machine-made seed starting plugs. Rigid expanded phenolic foam (a synthetic polymer) or media made from melted basalt fiber with a synthetic additives are also utilized. Products as mentioned above must, in some instances, be disposed of in accordance with local ordinances for hazardous waste materials. Each year billions of plants worldwide are started in some form of stabilized medium with much of the spent media not being recycled or properly composted.
Agricultural supplies manufactured with a biopolymer from renewable feed stocks in lieu of petroleum based plastics would contribute to eliminating millions of tons of plastic from the waste stream and landfills.
Together in strategic partnership with a leading edge growing media company, Grow-Tech LLC, Biovation manufactures an exclusive hydroponic growing substrate in roll goods form that is biobased, from renewable resources and surpasses existing technology.