Characteristics and influencing factors of mulch film use for pollution control in China: Microcosmic evidence from smallholder farmers

Chang Li, Mingxing Sun, Xiangbo Xu*, Linxiu Zhang

Journal Title: Resources, Conservation & Recycling

Volume/Issue/Page: Volume 164, January 2021, 105222

Published Time: 16 October 2020


With the extensive use of mulch film in agricultural production, plastic pollution caused by agricultural mulch film has received increasing attention. In China, smallholder farmers are the main group of mulch film users and the core concern of mulch film pollution prevention and control. However, previous studies only focused on mulch film residue management and degradable film utilization, and few studies have explored the key factors affecting agricultural mulch film pollution prevention and control from the perspective of smallholder farmers. This study used random sample household survey data, which included information on 2025 households in 100 villages from five provinces in China from the year 2018, to explore the key influencing factors of mulch film use and recycling. A binary logistic regression model was used to analyze the characteristics of mulch film use and recycling. As indicated in the results, the use of mulch film conformed to certain laws of social and economic development. With the increase in the farmers’ income, the use of mulch film demonstrated an inverted U-shape of first rising and then falling. However, with the increase in traffic accessibility, a positive U-shaped pattern appeared. In addition, it was discovered that mulch film recycling is mainly affected by specific policies and characteristics directly related to mulch film, but not by household characteristics. This study provides a valuable reference for the formulation of China’s long-term mulch film pollution prevention and control policies.

Keywords: Agriculture, Plastic pollution, Mulch film, Recycling Influencing factors

Corresponding author: Xiangbo Xu,

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