Development and evaluation of bioplastic containers for sustainable greenhouse and nursery production

J. A. Schrader, K. G. McCabe, G. Srinivasan, K. Haubrich, D. Grewell, Samy Madbouly, W. R. Graves

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over 750,000 metric tons of petroleum-based plastics are consumed per year by the greenhouse and nursery industries in the United States for single-use plant containers. Approximately 98% of this non-renewable, non-biodegradable material is disposed of in the nation's landfills and represents an obstacle to long-term sustainability. Bioplastics show strong potential for use in plant containers that fulfill the functional advantages of plastic, yet are made of renewable, biodegradable materials that have a much lower environmental footprint. In 2012 and 2013, we created 46 novel biocontainers (35 injection-molded bioplastics or biocomposites and 11 biopolymer-coated fiber containers) and evaluated them in greenhouse, nursery, and landscape trials. Our greenhouse and nursery evaluations demonstrated that many of the injection-molded bioplastics function as well as, or better than, petroleum plastics for crop containers. Soy-based bioplastic containers released nitrogen, led to a fertilizer effect, and improved root morphology during crop production. Adding bio-based fibers to form injection-molded biocomposite containers reduced the cost and weight of containers and improved the processability, function, and biodegradation of the bioplastic materials. Coating fiber containers with bioplastics improved water-use efficiency during crop production and improved container durability and function to resemble those of petroleum-plastic containers. Results of landscape trials showed that many of the bioplastics and biocomposites degrade in soil under natural landscape conditions, suggesting that containers made of these materials could end their life cycle as degraded organic matter in soil, instead of entering the solid waste stream. Replacing petroleum-plastic containers with bioplastic containers could improve sustainability without sacrificing function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationXXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture
Subtitle of host publicationSustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Ornamental Horticulture in the Global Greenhouse
EditorsR.A. Criley
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Pages79-88
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9789462610903
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
Volume1104
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

Fingerprint

containers
greenhouses
biocomposites
petroleum
plastics
plant containers
injection
crop production
bioplastics
ecological footprint
biodegradability
solid wastes
container-grown plants
biopolymers
landfills
durability
biodegradation
coatings
water use efficiency
life cycle (organisms)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture

Cite this

Schrader, J. A., McCabe, K. G., Srinivasan, G., Haubrich, K., Grewell, D., Madbouly, S., & Graves, W. R. (2015). Development and evaluation of bioplastic containers for sustainable greenhouse and nursery production. In R. A. Criley (Ed.), XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Ornamental Horticulture in the Global Greenhouse (pp. 79-88). (Acta Horticulturae; Vol. 1104). International Society for Horticultural Science. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1104.13
Schrader, J. A. ; McCabe, K. G. ; Srinivasan, G. ; Haubrich, K. ; Grewell, D. ; Madbouly, Samy ; Graves, W. R. / Development and evaluation of bioplastic containers for sustainable greenhouse and nursery production. XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Ornamental Horticulture in the Global Greenhouse. editor / R.A. Criley. International Society for Horticultural Science, 2015. pp. 79-88 (Acta Horticulturae).
@inbook{b24d3c71ae4f43679381ba7e0a968b34,
title = "Development and evaluation of bioplastic containers for sustainable greenhouse and nursery production",
abstract = "Over 750,000 metric tons of petroleum-based plastics are consumed per year by the greenhouse and nursery industries in the United States for single-use plant containers. Approximately 98{\%} of this non-renewable, non-biodegradable material is disposed of in the nation's landfills and represents an obstacle to long-term sustainability. Bioplastics show strong potential for use in plant containers that fulfill the functional advantages of plastic, yet are made of renewable, biodegradable materials that have a much lower environmental footprint. In 2012 and 2013, we created 46 novel biocontainers (35 injection-molded bioplastics or biocomposites and 11 biopolymer-coated fiber containers) and evaluated them in greenhouse, nursery, and landscape trials. Our greenhouse and nursery evaluations demonstrated that many of the injection-molded bioplastics function as well as, or better than, petroleum plastics for crop containers. Soy-based bioplastic containers released nitrogen, led to a fertilizer effect, and improved root morphology during crop production. Adding bio-based fibers to form injection-molded biocomposite containers reduced the cost and weight of containers and improved the processability, function, and biodegradation of the bioplastic materials. Coating fiber containers with bioplastics improved water-use efficiency during crop production and improved container durability and function to resemble those of petroleum-plastic containers. Results of landscape trials showed that many of the bioplastics and biocomposites degrade in soil under natural landscape conditions, suggesting that containers made of these materials could end their life cycle as degraded organic matter in soil, instead of entering the solid waste stream. Replacing petroleum-plastic containers with bioplastic containers could improve sustainability without sacrificing function.",
author = "Schrader, {J. A.} and McCabe, {K. G.} and G. Srinivasan and K. Haubrich and D. Grewell and Samy Madbouly and Graves, {W. R.}",
year = "2015",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1104.13",
language = "English (US)",
series = "Acta Horticulturae",
publisher = "International Society for Horticultural Science",
pages = "79--88",
editor = "R.A. Criley",
booktitle = "XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture",
address = "Belgium",

}

Schrader, JA, McCabe, KG, Srinivasan, G, Haubrich, K, Grewell, D, Madbouly, S & Graves, WR 2015, Development and evaluation of bioplastic containers for sustainable greenhouse and nursery production. in RA Criley (ed.), XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Ornamental Horticulture in the Global Greenhouse. Acta Horticulturae, vol. 1104, International Society for Horticultural Science, pp. 79-88. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1104.13

Development and evaluation of bioplastic containers for sustainable greenhouse and nursery production. / Schrader, J. A.; McCabe, K. G.; Srinivasan, G.; Haubrich, K.; Grewell, D.; Madbouly, Samy; Graves, W. R.

XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Ornamental Horticulture in the Global Greenhouse. ed. / R.A. Criley. International Society for Horticultural Science, 2015. p. 79-88 (Acta Horticulturae; Vol. 1104).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

TY - CHAP

T1 - Development and evaluation of bioplastic containers for sustainable greenhouse and nursery production

AU - Schrader, J. A.

AU - McCabe, K. G.

AU - Srinivasan, G.

AU - Haubrich, K.

AU - Grewell, D.

AU - Madbouly, Samy

AU - Graves, W. R.

PY - 2015/12/1

Y1 - 2015/12/1

N2 - Over 750,000 metric tons of petroleum-based plastics are consumed per year by the greenhouse and nursery industries in the United States for single-use plant containers. Approximately 98% of this non-renewable, non-biodegradable material is disposed of in the nation's landfills and represents an obstacle to long-term sustainability. Bioplastics show strong potential for use in plant containers that fulfill the functional advantages of plastic, yet are made of renewable, biodegradable materials that have a much lower environmental footprint. In 2012 and 2013, we created 46 novel biocontainers (35 injection-molded bioplastics or biocomposites and 11 biopolymer-coated fiber containers) and evaluated them in greenhouse, nursery, and landscape trials. Our greenhouse and nursery evaluations demonstrated that many of the injection-molded bioplastics function as well as, or better than, petroleum plastics for crop containers. Soy-based bioplastic containers released nitrogen, led to a fertilizer effect, and improved root morphology during crop production. Adding bio-based fibers to form injection-molded biocomposite containers reduced the cost and weight of containers and improved the processability, function, and biodegradation of the bioplastic materials. Coating fiber containers with bioplastics improved water-use efficiency during crop production and improved container durability and function to resemble those of petroleum-plastic containers. Results of landscape trials showed that many of the bioplastics and biocomposites degrade in soil under natural landscape conditions, suggesting that containers made of these materials could end their life cycle as degraded organic matter in soil, instead of entering the solid waste stream. Replacing petroleum-plastic containers with bioplastic containers could improve sustainability without sacrificing function.

AB - Over 750,000 metric tons of petroleum-based plastics are consumed per year by the greenhouse and nursery industries in the United States for single-use plant containers. Approximately 98% of this non-renewable, non-biodegradable material is disposed of in the nation's landfills and represents an obstacle to long-term sustainability. Bioplastics show strong potential for use in plant containers that fulfill the functional advantages of plastic, yet are made of renewable, biodegradable materials that have a much lower environmental footprint. In 2012 and 2013, we created 46 novel biocontainers (35 injection-molded bioplastics or biocomposites and 11 biopolymer-coated fiber containers) and evaluated them in greenhouse, nursery, and landscape trials. Our greenhouse and nursery evaluations demonstrated that many of the injection-molded bioplastics function as well as, or better than, petroleum plastics for crop containers. Soy-based bioplastic containers released nitrogen, led to a fertilizer effect, and improved root morphology during crop production. Adding bio-based fibers to form injection-molded biocomposite containers reduced the cost and weight of containers and improved the processability, function, and biodegradation of the bioplastic materials. Coating fiber containers with bioplastics improved water-use efficiency during crop production and improved container durability and function to resemble those of petroleum-plastic containers. Results of landscape trials showed that many of the bioplastics and biocomposites degrade in soil under natural landscape conditions, suggesting that containers made of these materials could end their life cycle as degraded organic matter in soil, instead of entering the solid waste stream. Replacing petroleum-plastic containers with bioplastic containers could improve sustainability without sacrificing function.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84961855368&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84961855368&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1104.13

DO - 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1104.13

M3 - Chapter

AN - SCOPUS:84961855368

T3 - Acta Horticulturae

SP - 79

EP - 88

BT - XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture

A2 - Criley, R.A.

PB - International Society for Horticultural Science

ER -

Schrader JA, McCabe KG, Srinivasan G, Haubrich K, Grewell D, Madbouly S et al. Development and evaluation of bioplastic containers for sustainable greenhouse and nursery production. In Criley RA, editor, XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Ornamental Horticulture in the Global Greenhouse. International Society for Horticultural Science. 2015. p. 79-88. (Acta Horticulturae). https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1104.13