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Following a Plastic Trail

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Published on Mar 13, 2012

The average person tends to know what plastic drip tape and soaker hoses are, but what is plastic mulch? In China alone, the equivalent area of South Carolina is covered with this fossil fuel based plastic sheet mulch every year and then the plastic becomes waste forever (7 million hectares for field crops alone; Kasirajan et al., 2012). Why do farmers all around the world use it more and more each year? Can this petroleum product be recycled? This is the first documentary film to engage the subject of plastic mulch as a truly global, accelerating, and complex sociotechnical problem. The film provides footage from farms and farmers within China, the United States, and from around the world. This simple plastic sheet technology conserves water while providing more quantity and types of food, yet disposing of single-use plastic mulch is a humongous problem both within the United States and globally. One telling aspect of the film is how the description of the plastic mulch waste problem provided by Oregon farmers precisely describes the plastic waste problem filmed on Chinese farms some 6,000 miles away. Is the problem truly this universal? Farmers need your support! We need options for tomorrow!

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