Advancing seed treatments without microplastics

Apr 30, 2024


The seed sector is confronting the environmental issue of microplastics in seed treatments head-on. Rob Pronk from Incotec highlights how these treatments, essential for crop sustainability, are now scrutinized for their environmental impact. The industry aims to protect seeds against pests and diseases while minimizing any adverse effects from treatment materials like microplastics.

Microplastics, primarily known for their persistence and potential harm to ecosystems, constitute a small but significant concern in agricultural practices. They are involved in the seed treatment process to ensure treatments stick to seeds effectively, reducing wastage and exposure.

The European Union's recent legislation, effective from October 2023, sets out a phased approach to eliminating microplastics in seed treatments, reflecting a growing regulatory trend. This change prompts a significant shift within the seed sector, pushing companies towards alternative solutions that do not compromise agricultural efficacy or environmental safety.

Experts like Robert Gaffney from BASF and Bert Compaan of Bejo Zaden underline the importance of these developments. They point out that the transition is crucial not only for meeting legal standards but also for fostering a sustainable agricultural framework.

ISF's Rose Souza Richards expresses strong industry support for moving away from microplastic-based products, demonstrating the sector's commitment to sustainable practices. The ongoing research and transition to microplastic-free seed treatments highlight the seed industry’s proactive stance on environmental responsibility.

This move towards eliminating microplastics is a part of broader efforts to ensure that agricultural practices contribute positively to environmental health and safety, marking a significant step in the journey towards more sustainable farming.

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