The article talked about the different activities in the horticultural production process where inorganic waste is generated mostly, and the importance of its sustainable management. This has been presented by IFAPA, through REINWASTE project, at The First Congress of Young Researchers in Agri-Food Sciences, celebrated at 20 December 2018 at the University of Almería (Andalusia-Spain) and brought together more than 300 young researchers in Agri-Food sciences.
In the last decade, the bioeconomy and circular economy strategies in the agri-food value chain are becoming increasingly important at the institutional, social and economic levels.
Currently some are in the process of translation to specific actions. Spain in January 2016 and Andalusia in 2018 launched their own strategies to promote the bioeconomy based on the sustainable production and use of biological resources, developing specific measures to reduce the waste generated in the productive sectors. Specifically, the information related to the production of inorganic waste in rural areas is atomized or non-existent. In this sense, in the framework of the REINWASTE project, in this communication, after analyzing briefly the economic and productive structure of horticulture greenhouses sector in Almeria, we detailed based on in situ research, empirical studies and documentary review, the different activities in the production process where inorganic waste is generated mostly. Subsequently, a typology of said waste is made based on its nature and quantification.
From the results obtained, it should be noted that of the projection for 35,000 hectares of horticultural crops in greenhouses in Almería, it is estimated that more than 93,170 tons of waste are produced per year and an estimated volume of 124,340 m3. In general, with respect to the composition of these wastes, the plastics used as protection materials account for approximately 6% of the total waste generated in intensive agriculture, with the remaining 94% corresponding to organic waste. The maintenance of the structure of the greenhouses and the disinfection plastics are the productive functions that generate more weight (42% and 23%, respectively) and volume (40% and 19%, respectively).
Finally, based on interviews with experts, some innovative solutions have been defined for the prevention of waste to reduce, collect, recycle and recover along the value chain, among others we mentioned new biodegradable guide crops-materials, techniques for a rapid elimination of these materials from the crops and compostable mulching.