In a collaborative effort to promote sustainability in agriculture, global packaging and paper leader Mondi has partnered with Cotesi, a producer of twine, nets and ropes for the agricultural sector.

The collaboration aims to introduce a paper solution called Advantage Kraft Mulch.

This innovative product aims to replace traditional plastic mulch films used by farmers.

Mulch films serve as a vital tool in agriculture, protecting crops from various elements such as birds, weeds, soil erosion, excessive sunlight and heavy rain.

Traditionally, these films have been made from plastic, which is rolled out during planting and later removed and disposed of at harvest, contributing to plastic waste issues.

Mondi’s Advantage Kraft Mulch offers a sustainable alternative to conventional plastic mulch films. This solution is crafted entirely from 100% kraft paper, sourced responsibly from wood, with no plastic or coating involved.

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Importantly, it holds an industrially compostable certification according to DIN EN 13432 and provides a level of protection comparable to plastic mulch films.

Field trials show promise

Current field trials have shown promising results for Advantage Kraft Mulch. The kraft paper remains robust, effectively inhibiting weed growth and is expected to naturally decompose after the harvesting season concludes.

After harvest, covering the mulch paper with soil initiates the decomposition process, leaving no visible traces. This not only adds organic matter to the soil but also eliminates the need for disposal or recycling, reducing both time and costs.

Moreover, there is no risk of microplastics entering the soil, a concern associated with traditional plastic mulch.

Advantage Kraft Mulch proves versatile and is suitable for greenhouse applications, as well as outdoor agricultural use. It can be easily secured to the ground using wooden clips and can be customised with slits or holes to facilitate healthy plant growth.

A sustainable future for agriculture

Rui Marques, Manager of the Industry and Agrotextiles Division at Cotesi, emphasises the importance of protecting the soil and preventing pollution from microplastics.

He states: “Farmers are dedicated to protecting their nutritious soil in the long run,” and the partnership between Mondi and Cotesi showcases a significant step towards sustainable farming practices.

Kraft Paper at Mondi business development manager Lasse Berglund expresses excitement about the groundbreaking impact of Advantage Kraft Mulch, emphasising its role in eliminating unnecessary plastic in agriculture.

He highlights that the product not only benefits the environment but also simplifies the farming process by requiring no additional infrastructure for disposal or recycling.