Most storage devices used for forestry and horticulture are made from plastic non-biodegradable thermoplastic resins. Billions of containers are used worldwide every year and only a fraction of those containers are reused. The rest are thrown away or recycled. Even the recycled materials generate pollution and harmful waste products.
Additionally, seedlings planted from these plastic containers have a failure rate greater than about 5% due to mechanical stress or lost seedlings. This process is also more labor intensive than simply putting a combination plant and container into the ground.
Researchers at UdeC have designed a biodegradable container made from grape and/or pine lignocellulose, polylactic acid and other eco-friendly ingredients fabricated in an extrusion, injection, or pressing process for planting of seedlings in the forest or garden. This means the technology can be adapted to existing processing lines by simply changing processing conditions.
Alex Berg Gebert
Technological Development Unit
International application PCT/EP08/08362