August, 2010 - First International Workshop on Biodegradable Plastics in Horticulture
The first International Workshop on “Biodegradable Plastics in Horticulture” was held on the 25th August 2010 as part of the 28th International Horticultural Congress in Lisboa. The workshop was supported by the Commission for Protected Cultivation and was organized by S. Heisswolf (Agri-Science Queensland DEEDI, Australia), S. Guerrini (Novamont S.p.A., Italy) and L. Martín-Closas (University of Lleida, Spain). The workshop was attended by more than 50 delegates representing universities, private corporations and research stations from around the world.
Prof. Martín-Closas, who acted as a chairman, introduced the use of biodegradable plastics as one further step for transforming horticultural systems into sustainable systems and explained the potential of biodegradable materials for agricultural applications. Next, S. Guerrini from Novamont (Italy), provided an overview of bioplastics use in Horticulture. Thereafter, C. Rodrigues, from Silvex (Portugal), presented the European project “AGROBIOFILM”, and Dr. F. Degli-Innocenti, vice-chairman of the European Bioplastics Board explained the role of the European Bioplastics Association and the main biodegradability concepts, including its certification.
A very interesting discussion with the audience followed the presentations. Key questions on the biodegradation process, the cost of the materials, the origin of renewable biodegradable materials, new applications and more arose; unfortunately the time was quickly over and the workshop came to an end.
Based on the success and interest of this first workshop on “Biodegradable plastics in Horticulture” and on the more than 16 communications presented on this emerging topic during the 28th IHC in Lisboa, the foundations for a more extended workshop on Biodegradable plastics in Horticulture were laid for the next IHC in Brisbane in 2014.