Mulch films are plastic coverings for plants utilized to retain the moisture in the soil. Since loss of soil moisture through evaporation can be a significant issue in dry areas, the demand for mulch films has grown in recent years. Plants can grow through holes in mulch films, leading to their growth being completely unaffected despite the covering. Some mulch films are also designed to produce the greenhouse effect on a small scale, retaining the heat from solar radiation to help plant growth. The global market for mulch films is driven not only by the loss of arable land, which has become a major concern, but also by the steady increase in the demand from the growing global population. The steady funding to the development of agrotech solutions from governmental as well as nongovernmental research bodies has also helped the global mulch films market significantly, as per Transparency Market Research.
Global Mulch Films Market: Drivers and Restraints
The increasing global population and the consequent increase in the demand for food is the prime driver for the global mulch films market. With the realization that the earth’s own bearing capacity is not likely to support the increasing human population, research into various kinds of agrotech solutions has become more prominent over the years. Biotechnological solutions such as genetically modified crops have taken care of the problem of increasing crop yield and making it sturdier, while mechanical solutions such as mulch films deal with increasing the efficiency of agriculture practices so that no resource is wasted.
The technological advancement in modern mulch films has also been crucial for the global mulch films market. While the technology appears rudimentary, several kinds of mulch films have been developed to provide different benefits. This is a crucial tool for the mulch films industry, which needs to keep up with the times and provide suitable solutions to a dynamic problem.
The problem of plastic mulch films polluting agricultural land perfectly illustrates the value of technological advancement to the mulch films industry. While conventional plastics such as polyethylene and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) are currently used to produce mulch films, the difficulty in removing the films means they can themselves be the cause of significant pollution in priceless fertile land. Developing mulch films from biodegradable plastics is thus a key opportunity for players in the mulch films market.
Global Mulch Films Market: Segmentation and Competitive Landscape
By plastic type, the mulch films market is segmented into LDPE (low-density polyethylene), HDPE (high-density polyethylene), LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene) EVA, polylactic acid (PLA) derivatives, and others. The various polyethylene-based plastics hold a dominant share in the mulch films market, although EVA, which is more durable than polyethylene, is expected to be the key segment in the forecast period. The biodegradability of PLA means that it will also be one of the key segments of the mulch films market.
Geographically, Asia Pacific was the leading contributor to the global mulch films market in 2015 and is set to retain its dominance over the forecast period. The high agricultural production and ready acceptance of advanced agricultural technology in countries such as China and India is crucial for the Asia Pacific mulch films market. Apart from China and India, the national markets for mulch films in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Germany, Mexico, France, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Spain, South Africa, and the ASEAN and GCC countries are examined in detail in the report.