With the constant use of plastics in farming, much of it single-use and often buried or burnt, our soils are full of microplastics, threatening our food safety with pathogens.
A report by the Food & Agriculture Organisation, reviewed by external experts, estimates that, in 2019 alone, a mind-boggling 12.5 million tonnes of plastic was used in plant and animal production, much of it in Asia. Only a small percentage of the agricultural plastics used were recycled or reused.
We are currently adding large amounts of these unnatural materials into agricultural soils without understanding their long-term effects.Prof Jonathan Leake | University of Sheffield
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