It’s time for biodegradable seed coatings
Time is up for non-biodegradable seed coatings!
Microplastic particle regulation is on the horizon…
Unlike many other competitor seed coatings, Amulix® is a circular product that decomposes into water and carbon dioxide molecules, which are then used by plants to perform photosynthesis. In this way, Amulix® leaves no trace, and contributes to a circular economic consumption system that does not deplete our planet’s natural resources. More than ever, this kind of circular solution is needed to drive the sustainability of agricultural practices.
Changing regulatory landscape
On January 30, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) announced its initial proposals to restrict the use of oxo-plastics and intentionally added microplastic particles in consumer-or professional-use products of any kind. Above all, ECHA underlined not only that microplastic particles pose a serious risk to the environment and human health, but that there is a pressing need to develop sustainable solutions that mitigate this issue.
Small particles, big issue
the current widespread use of polymer-based synthetic coatings with limited biodegradability on seeds and agricultural starter material contributes strongly to microplastic pollution. 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 and at the same time 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 synthetic polymer materials, which remain in the environment as microplastics.
In fact, biodegradability tests following OECD 301 have underlined the superior biodegradability in water of Amulix® CLEAR B8015. Specifically, the Amulix® coating reached over 70% biodegradability levels in water after 45 days. In a soil biodegradation test by OWS (tested to ISO 17556), two other broadly used industry products showed almost no biodegradation and remained as small particles (see Chart 2 below).
Chart 1. Biodegradation of Amulix® CLEAR B8015 in water. Method OECD 301.
Chart 2. Biodegradation of Amulix® VEG C8055 in soil (ISO 17556).
Looking ahead with purpose
Moving forward, we expect to see growing consumer awareness around microplastic pollution. At the same time, regulatory authorities are now starting to make concrete proposals to limit the amount of microplastic particles entering our environmental systems. As such, 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 bio-based seed coatings, a more sustainable future is within reach – so watch this space!