Time is up for non-biodegradable seed coatings!
Changing regulatory landscape
On January 30, 2019, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) announced its initial proposals to restrict the use of oxo-plastics and intentionally-added microplastic particles in consumer-use or professional-use products of any kind. ECHA underlined that microplastic particles pose a serious risk to the environment and human health, and that there is a pressing need to develop sustainable solutions that mitigate this issue.
Small particles, big issue
The current, widespread use of oil-based, synthetic coatings with limited biodegradability on seeds and agricultural starter material contributes to microplastic pollution. When they are applied to plant protection products to improve sowability and seed visibility in the soil, these non-biodegradable seed coatings can make their way into our food systems through both terrestrial and aquatic environments.
Finding a better alternative
There is another way, though. Our high-performing, bio-based Amulix® Seed Coatings outperform traditional coating solutions in operational performance. At the same time these coatings offer a viable solution to the issue of seed coating microplastic pollution. Made from starch-based waste material, Amulix® has a reduced environmental and health impact compared with coatings made from oil-based polymer materials that remain in the environment as microplastics.
Looking ahead with purpose
Moving forward, we expect to see growing consumer awareness around microplastic pollution. Regulatory authorities are also starting to make concrete proposals to limit the amount of microplastic particles entering our environmental systems. It seems only a matter of time before synthetic, oil-based seed coatings for agricultural starter material are a thing of the past. Thankfully, with our Amulix® biodegradable and bio-based seed coatings, a more sustainable future is within our reach – watch this space!