Extensive use of mulch films in the agriculture and horticulture sector is prospering the mulch films market and this growth may continue in the forecast period 2019-2027. Mulch films are widely used on the soil to reduce weed growth and enhance crop yield. They are also used for retaining moisture levels in the soil and protecting the soil from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Mulch films market is classified in organic, anaerobic, colored, polypropene, polyethylene, ground covers and biodegradable based on properties.
- Manufacturers of the mulch films market are inclining towards eco-friendly solutions by blending soil-biodegradable and compostable plastic. These elements help in decreasing white pollution formed by horticulture and agriculture products. These mulch film types are called biodegradable mulch films. They are prominently made from plant starch, sugars, and polyester fibers. Biodegradable mulch films are sustainable and do not require waste disposal. In addition, biodegradable mulch films also decrease fruit rot and enhance product quality. It is the least harmful product as it contains fewer chemicals. Thus, the booming demand for biodegradable mulch films may prove beneficial for the growth rate of the mulch films market to a great extent.
- Rising awareness about crop wastage reduction and consistent initiatives by the government to promote advanced technologies in the agriculture sector may propel the mulch films market. In addition, offering superior quality fruits and vegetables to meet the growing needs of the global populace may also strengthen the mulch films market.
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Various partnerships and acquisitions also take place in the mulch films market. The acquisition of Clopay Plastic Products Company by Berry Global for expanding its global footprint and to maintain dominance in the mulch films market is a classic instance. Key players in the mulch films market are Exxon Mobil Corp, BioBag International AS, Ginegar Plastic Products Ltd., Berry Global Inc., Novamont S.p.A., and BASF SE
Mulch Films Market: Multifaceted Advantages Lead to High Adoption
Mulch films are being increasingly used in agriculture and horticulture to modify soil temperature, minimize weed growth, and improve crop yield. There is increasing awareness about mulch films amongst consumers due to advantages such as less investment on weedicides, early harvest of crops, and increase in quantitative output of crops.
Likewise, consumers are using biodegradable mulch films in agriculture and horticulture. Previously used biodegradable mulch films can be left on the soil and plowed, which reduces operational time during crop harvest. Governments across various countries have made regulatory provisions for the adoption of these films, which has been favoring the growth of the mulch films market.
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As such, stakeholders are carrying out research and development to improve the thickness, use of pigments, and the exposure to high solar irradiation in mulch films. Ongoing research and development activities in the mulch films market are being made to develop efficient thermal stabilizers with intermediate chemical resistance in these films. Thus, the breakdown of biodegradable elements in the soil provides several benefits for agriculture and horticulture products.
Mulch Films Market: Biopolymer Mulch Films Promote Sustainability
Manufacturers in the mulch films market are developing environment-friendly applications by combining compostable and soil-biodegradable plastic. Compostable polymer with bio-based elements help reduce white pollution created by agriculture and horticulture products, thus reducing environmental footprint. Biopolymer mulch films are also used to manufacture organic waste bags for various agricultural applications.
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Biopolymer mulch films serve as an efficient alternative to enable a closed-loop system that aids organic waste collection and prevents littering of conventional mulch films in the soil. The adoption of biopolymer mulch films helps complete the loop of the food-value chain, as such, leaving very little need for the disposal of waste materials in agricultural applications. The end-of-life options for biopolymer mulch films lead to several advantages, such as biodegradability of the soil, and home and industrial compost ability.
The mulch films market also supports the concept of the circular economy. Thin polyethylene (PE) mulch films are used by farmers to increase crop yield. However, while harvesting the crops, it is difficult for farmers to collect PE mulch films, since they are only a few micrometers thick. The adoption of biopolymer mulch films reduces residual waste in the soil. For instance, in May 2019, BASF SE ? a leading German chemical company operating in the mulch films market, announced the launch of ecovio® a high performance compostable and soil-biodegradable plastic used for agricultural and packaging applications.
Mulch Films Market: Demand for BDM Estimated to Grow Despite High Cost
Although non-biodegradable mulch films dominate the mulch films ecosystem, with a market share of ~72%, conventional polyethylene mulches have certain drawbacks such as environmental stress caused due to traditional disposal of PE mulches. The disposal of PE mulch films also poses as a risk for the release of toxic particles into the environment that are harmful for human health.
Since PE mulch films are less environment-friendly, stakeholders are promoting the use of biodegradable plastic mulch films (BDM) amongst consumers. Biodegradable plastic mulch films offer efficient moisture retention in crops, and reduce labor hours, as the crops can be directly harvested from the land. Although the cost of BDM is higher than conventional polyethylene mulch films, the demand for BDM is estimated to grow in the coming years.
- Globally, revenue generated by the mulch films market is estimated to be ~4.3 billion in 2019, and is expected to expand at a CAGR of ~6% in terms of value throughout the forecast period.
Introduction of Biodegradable Mulch Films in China
- The penetration of mulch films in the China market is projected to expand at a humongous growth rate. To conserve water and protect the soil from noxious weeds, mulch films are widely used on Chinese land. This has led to an increase in the usage of mulch films in China in the past few years.
- However, Chinese farmers predominantly use polyethylene mulch films, which degrades the soil quality when it gets break down during the removal process. Growing number of agricultural scientists and institutes throughout China and across the globe are brainstorming the scale of problems and recommend solutions. For instance, Novamont, a German mulch film manufacturer, has made Mater-Bi compostable resin, which is created from starch and other bio-based material. All these factors are expected to drive the growth of the mulch films market in Asia Pacific market during the forecast period.
Biodegradable Mulch Films to Meet High Level Acceptance among European Farmers
- High growth economies such as the United States and Germany are expected to play a crucial role in modern agriculture. Biodegradable mulch films offer distinctive advantages at the end of the crop cycle, as they can be left on the field, which is not possible in conventional PE mulch films.
- Additionally, European governments take initiatives to use conventional mulch films thicker than 25 microns. Furthermore, biodegradable films are also sold at a particular standard in order to make sure that mulch films will biodegrade and disintegrate without leaving any harmful residue into the soil, which, in turn, is escalating the demand for biodegradable films in the market.
Continuous Use of Mulch Films to Reduce the Quality of Soil
- One of the factors affecting the mulch films market is the usage biodegradable bio-based mulch films, because these fail to meet quality standards. Excessive use of mulch films might hamper soil quality, as both, biodegradable & non-biodegradable mulch film do not decompose 100%.
- Moreover, the removal of plastics is an arduous and difficult process. Also, the cost of biodegradable mulch films is twice the price of non-biodegradable films, which might hamper the market growth of biodegradable mulch films in the near future.
Asia Pacific: 4 Times of Latin America Market by 2027
- Asia Pacific is projected to represent ~60% of the total mulch films market during the forecast period. This is accredited to the increased investments in agricultural activities, especially in China and India.
- China is expected to clock a CAGR of ~7% by value during the forecast period. This is due to climatic conditions and water scarcity in the region that makes mulching films almost indispensable and crucial. India is anticipated to expand at a healthy CAGR during the forecast period, on account of the increasing population and growing demand from the agriculture industry.
Mulch Films Market: Competitive Landscape
- Key manufacturers in the mulch films market such as BASF and Novamont are trying to innovate by conglomerating different bio-based products such as PBS, PBAT, etc.
- Tier I players include BASF, Berry Global, AEP Industries, and Exxon Mobil Corporation. Tier II players include Trioplast, INDEVCO, BioBag International AS, Ginegar, and some other players. Tier III consists of unorganized players in the mulch films market.
- Some of the key players in the global mulch films market are
- Dow Chemical Company
- BASF SE
- FKuR Kunststoff GmbH
- Novamont S.p.A.
- Berry Global Inc.
- AEP Industries Inc.
- Trioplast Industrier AB
- Tilak Polypack Pvt. Ltd.
- Ab Rani Plast Oy.
- RKW Agri Gmbh & Co.
- Industrial Development Company Sal (Indevco)
- Armando Alvarez Group
- BioBag International AS
- Exxon Mobil Corp
- Ginegar Plastic Products Ltd.
Mulch Films Market: Key Developments
Some of the key developments in the mulch films market are as follows:
- Berry Global, a key player in the mulch films market, is following the path of expansion through the acquisition strategy. The company is looking forward to globalizing its business by acquiring and collaborating with national and international players. Recently, it acquired Clopay Plastic Products Company, Inc. from an affiliate of Griffon Corporation.
- Exxon Mobil Corporation mainly focusses on investing in high growth areas such as Asia Pacific and the Middle East to strengthen its premier industry position in the mulch films market.
- RKW Agri Gmbh & Co, another mulch film manufacturer, has strategically distributed its footprint geographically to cover the global mulch films market and take benefits from different regions.
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