Close this search box.
Environment & CE Logo 1

Environment and circular economy transition in China


Improving plastic management in agriculture in Harbin

Background and objectives

Mulch film is widely used in modern agriculture providing a number of benefits for crop growth and yields. At present, China is the world’s largest country in the amount of mulch film used with approx. 1.5 million tons annually. However, only 40% of the used mulch film are collected from fields. The residual film discarded in the farmland has caused serious “white pollution” in Chinese agriculture, which adversely affects the crop yields. The Sino-German Project for Upgrading Plastics Management in Agriculture seeks to improve the management of plastic mulch film in China by enhancing the recycling efficiency of PE mulch film and promoting the utilization of biodegradable mulch film.
Harbin city is located in the northeast region in China where the rice planting area makes up round 50 % of the national rice fields. In Harbin the application of biodegradable mulch film for rice production will be demonstrated, with a total area of 800 mu (ca. 53 ha) and a pilot period of two years. The mechanical coverage of mulch film will also be piloted.

Project approach & progress

  • At Nov. 18th, 2020 the Sino-German Project for Upgrading Plastics Management in Agriculture was officially launched at its kick-off workshop in Beijing.
  • The application of the biodegradable mulch film for rice using mechanical coverage will be piloted from April 2021. The agronomic and economic effect, as well as the environmental impacts of the biodegradable mulch film will be evaluated.
  • A technical guideline for the application of biodegradable mulch film to rice will be developed and submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
  • A unified testing guideline and certification criteria for biodegradable mulch film in China will be developed, mainly focusing on its safety, degradability but also mention its functionality.
  • Policy recommendations will be provided with regard to the application, promotion and testing standards of biodegradable mulch film.
  • Awareness raising and capacity building activities will be organized geared towards policy makers, enterprises producing and/or recycling of mulch film, product quality certifiers as well as farmers, with the topics of biodegradable mulch film application and quality assurance.

Contact person


Ms. HOU Jingyue
Project Manager

Sino-German Project for Upgrading Plastics Management in Agriculture

Supported by

Implemented by

In Cooperation with