Microplastic-free seed coatings
With the use of microplastics in seed treatment expected to be banned soon in Europe, and other regions of the world likely to follow, the need for microplastic-free seed treatments has never been greater. Helping customers get ahead of a major regulatory impact, we are expanding our line of microplastic-free seed coatings. Our new-generation seed solutions include products for both vegetables and field crops.
Agricultural activity accounts for about 10% of the total microplastic release. Although seed treatment accounts for only a small part of that, our industry can play an active part in reducing the environmental impact of microplastics.
A crucial component of many seed coating products is the binder. This is usually a polymer and most polymers are considered to be microplastic containing. The binder is responsible for the safe and effective adherence of components of the coating. A quality binder keeps dust-off to a minimum and improves the coating’s abrasion resistance. It keeps all the ingredients where they should be – on the seed.
Most of Incotec’s products for vegetable seeds are microplastic free. In addition to this, we are working on the next generation microplastic-free product range which includes products for both vegetables and field crops. The first of these are already available.
Are microplastic-free products effective?
Yes. Formulating an effective microplastic-free seed coating with all the high-quality properties our customers are used to can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. We apply the same high standards to our microplastic-free solutions as we do to all our products. Our microplastic-free products meet or exceed the industry standards and are safe for seed, safe for the environment and safe for those who handle them.
Microplastics ban: in Europe and elsewhere
There is growing concern all over the world on the topic of microplastics accumulating in the environment. Legislation banning intentionally added microplastics in seed coatings is expected to become effective around 2027 in Europe. So customers in Europe will be affected first, but it is highly likely that similar restrictions will be adopted elsewhere. Our microplastic-free products are being introduced first in Europe but these will become available in other regions, with the US and Latin America being the first of these. After this, they will gradually be rolled out around the globe.
The Road to Microplastics
Seed Valley Talks
Jérôme Garnier, Market Application Specialist at Incotec, talks about what the seed industry is doing to help against microplastic pollution.