20 Juli 2020

The start-up Carbiolice and Barbier Group are combining their expertise to develop biodegradable mulch film using Evanesto® inside

Tests for physical resistance and biodegradation are currently being carried out under real growing conditions

The enzymatic additive Evanesto®, developed by Carbiolice, has recently led to the Riom-based company collaborating with Barbier Group, the French leader in the manufacture of films for agriculture. The project aims at developing a new type of biodegradable mulch film with a higher content of bio-based plastics (PLA), containing the Evanesto® additive, which has been designed to enable PLA to biodegrade at ambient temperatures.

Following validation of the mechanical properties and residual enzymatic activity of the films produced on pilot installations at the beginning of the year, Carbiolice and Barbier Group extruded over 1000 m2 of mulch film last May for testing in real field conditions.

The innovation of this “new-generation” biodegradable mulch film lies in its PLA content. Biodegradable film currently contains a limited concentration of PLA, but Evanesto® inside enables a PLA rate of 20% to be achieved, increasing the ratio of renewable resources and extending its lifespan, while remaining biodegradable in soil.

Tests for physical resistance and biodegradation are currently being carried out under real growing conditions.

Tests on the mulch film containing Evanesto® inside are currently being carried out at several experimental horticultural stations. Laid on surfaces of about 1000m² for long-term crops, the film is then analysed from the time of installation up until disintegration. The trial is scheduled to last 1 year, after which polyethylene mulch films and biodegradable films that does not contain Evanesto® will be compared to mulch film containing Evanesto® inside. The full results of these tests are expected in May 2021.

Reminder of legislation: Under decree no. 2019-1451 of 24 December 2019 relating to the prohibition of certain single-use plastics, objects made of oxodegradable plastic (not assimilable by micro-organisms and not compostable) will be banned in France from 1 January 2021.

Serge Vassal, Barbier Group CEO, “Barbier Group, which has strong ties with its local area and has placed innovation and environmental issues as strategic priorities for its development, has worked alongside Carbiolice on technical projects since its creation. This project therefore naturally followed, aimed at providing mulch films with Evanesto® inside that meet farmers’ requirements in terms of functionality and control over the kinetics of disintegration and biodegradation, while guaranteeing the quality of the soil.”

Nadia Auclair, Carbiolice CEO, “Alongside teams from Barbier Group, Carbiolice’s long-standing partner, we are aiming to provide innovation that is 100% made in France. Moreover, we are convinced that legislation will favour accelerated adoption of biodegradable film to meet current health and environmental challenges.”

Source: Carbiolice, press release, 2020-06-25.

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