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Walki Reports Biodegradable Mulching Paper

ESPOO, FINLAND | Walki, a global producer of technical laminates and protective packaging materials, has developed a new fiber-based soil mulching solution that is said to be completely biodegradable. This organic mulch type is used for weed control and to optimize soil conditions and crop yield. 

Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of an area of soil. It is designed to conserve moisture, improve the fertility and health of the soil, and control weed growth. Soil mulching also reduces the need for pesticides, fertilizers, and irrigation. Traditionally, soil mulching materials have been made from plastic, and, most typically, from polyethylene film. While effective, plastic mulch is not biodegradable and eventually becomes waste material that has to be removed from the field and dumped or recycled at a high cost.

It is estimated that more than a million tonnes of plastic films are used for mulching every year around the world. In addition to having to be collected from the fields, the mulch often leaves behind plastic residues, which reportedly pollute the soil and reduce its future growth potential. Company says yields from polluted soil are typically up to 20% lower than those from non-polluted soil.

Arno Wolff, Walki’s VP Technical Products, sales & marketing, says, “The Agripap solution is the only organic mulch type on the market that is made from paper instead of plastic. It is entirely biodegradable, does not contribute to plastic pollution and, instead, simply dissolves into the soil. It also reduces the need for the chemicals used to control weed growth.”

The product is made from kraft paper that is coated with a biodegradable coating layer, which slows down the degradation of the paper. Without the coating, the paper would degrade in the soil within a few weeks.

“Having seen the kind of environmental impact that plastic film can have on the soil, Walki has understood that there is a need for a more sustainable mulching solution. Walki®Agripap is the perfect alternative for the farmers who care about our environment,” says Peter Martin, technical service & development director, Industrial Packaging.

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