12. September 2017 | Agrotech

Fibers for the agriculture

Strings made from Tencel fibres can be used to grow tomatoes
Source: Lenzing

Avoiding the use of plastic is a top priority in agriculture. With innovations made from Tencel lyocell fibers, Lenzing offers an alternative that offers a higher ecological value.

6.5 million tons of plastic products are being used in agriculture every year. These include agricultural films, wraps under layer, silage films, stretch films, as well as strings made from steel. Tencel fibers made from the natural raw material of wood are particularly well suited for use in agriculture due to their fiber profile and could reduce the use of plastics in agriculture.

According to the company, Tencel fibers are 100% biodegradable and even 100% compostable. The high strength of the fibers enables the reduction of material use, particularly with support strings. They are much thinner than cotton strings and have a higher strength. The load capacity of support strings of this kind, which has to be up to 80 kg depending on the crop, is assured throughout the growth period of the plant. Lenzing claims that the fibers are tested according to the EU criteria for food contact use and can therefore be used by agriculture for food products without any concerns.

“At the moment, only several products, such as support strings, ropes and nonwovens, are in use. However, Tencel fibers have great potential in agriculture. Mankind faces a plastics problem if we consider that plastic takes up to 400 years to decompose,” says Marina Crnoja-Cosic, head of Technical Textiles at Lenzing. “Any reduction in the use of plastics helps to protect our environment. In agriculture in particular, sustainable materials should be used. This is good for us humans and for the environment.”

edited by Petra Gottwald

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