Published July 27, 2022 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Implementing a GIS-Based Digital Atlas of Agricultural Plastics to Reduce Their Environmental Footprint: Part II, an Inductive Approach

Description

Abstract: Plastic pollution, largely perceived by the public as a major risk factor that strongly impacts sea life and preservation, has an even higher negative impact on terrestrial ecosystems. Indeed, quantitative data about plastic contamination on agricultural soils are progressively emerging in alarming ways. One of the main contributors to this pollution involves the mismanagement of agricultural plastic waste (APW), i.e., the residues from plastic material used to improve the productivity of agricultural crops, such as greenhouse covers, mulching films, irrigation pipes, etc. Wrong management of agricultural plastics during and after their working lives may pollute the agricultural soil and aquifers by releasing macro-, micro-, and nanoplastics, which could also enter into the human food chain. In this study, we aimed to develop a methodology for the spatial quantification of agricultural plastics to achieve sustainable post-consumer management. Through an inductive approach, based on statistical data from the agricultural census of the administrative areas of the Italian provinces, an agricultural plastic coefficient (APC) was proposed, implemented, and spatialized in a GIS environment, to produce a database of APW for each type of crop. The proposed methodology can be exported to other countries. It represents valuable support that could realize, in integration with other tools, an atlas of agricultural plastics, which may be a starting point to plan strategies and actions targeted to the reduction of the plastic footprint of agriculture.

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Implementing a GIS-Based Digital Atlas of Agricultural Plastics to Reduce Their Environmental Footprint Part II, an Inductive Approach.pdf

Additional details

Funding

PAPILLONS – Plastic in Agricultural Production: Impacts, Lifecycles and LONg-term Sustainability 101000210
European Commission