Mulches are placed on the ground to improve the soil around plants, prevent weeds growing and maintain the temperature of the land.
A team of specialists from Smurfit Kappa's Nervion and Sangüesa Paper Mills have worked with the INTIA , a research centre for agrifood technology in Spain, to identify a way to use long pine fibres from sustainably managed local forests as a basis for the new paper.
The polythene that is most commonly used for mulches can be difficult and costly to remove and leaves behind small fragments that can be consumed by animals. AgroPaper® , on the other hand, is an eco-friendly material that safely and harmlessly biodegrades as a compost into the ground.
Tests on AgroPaper® revealed that in many cases the crop yield actually increased. Speaking about the company's latest breakthrough, Laurent Sellier, COO Smurfit Kappa Paper Europe, said: "At Smurfit Kappa, we believe we have a responsibility to respond to the challenge facing the environment and society as a whole today by developing the paper and packaging solutions of the future.
"Through our Better Planet Packaging initiative we're looking to generate innovative, sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the environment. AgroPaper® is an example of a truly circular product that solves a critical issue for many farmers and opens up a world of possibilities."