Plastic mulching is a technique used in the manner of mulch (a material which, extended to the surface of the soil, retains humidity and limits erosion as well as the development of competing plant species) classic in agricultural and horticultural production, as well as in landscaping, to hasten and promote the growth of cultivated plants by warming the soil while conserving water and limiting the growth of weeds.

The objectives of using this agricultural technique are multiple, in particular:
• Regulate the temperature of the soil by limiting thermal shocks (day / night), and by promoting the maintenance of heat in the soil in spring and autumn, and on the contrary by maintaining a certain coolness and limiting temperature variations during the hot summer season;
• Control the development of weeds by intercepting the solar radiation necessary for germination;
• Slow down the evaporation of water and maintain humidity in the soil, through a barrier limiting dehydration induced by the wind and the sun which accelerates evaporation;
• Keep the soil loose and improve its pedological structure by limiting its beat (which reduces the need for weeding and hoeing);
• Limit the phenomena of leaching and leaching of the soil;
• Enrich the soil with organic matter and nutrients through degradation of the mulch material (if it is biodegradable and unpolluted);
• Repel certain insects.
One of the crops that makes frequent use of it is the cultivation of corn.

While this widespread method has beneficial contributions and benefits farmers, it is nevertheless not without consequences.

Indeed, "plastic mulching of corn contributes to the degradation of agricultural land" because it causes pollution by microparticles, accelerates erosion and is accompanied by chemical treatments, supports the Confédération paysanne union. The Confédération paysanne also denounces "the use of public funds to support agriculture which is based on uncertain and deleterious techniques". "Plastic mulching highlights an ever more productive agriculture that destroys peasant employment, harms the environment and the health of its consumers. Let's put an end to this senseless practice at a time of a necessary agroecological transition! "

But remember that this ban is part of the process of banning the use of plastic that has been underway for several years now. In 2019, the senate postponed until 2021. This is what brings in the French committee for plastics in agriculture, which considers the position of the Confédération paysanne incomplete and imprecise. Its Managing Director, Bernard Lemoine recalls that: "Oxo-degradable plastic, that is to say conventional tarpaulins, is no longer marketable.

We have the clearance to sell off the stocks, that's all. From January 1, farmers will only be able to use bio-degradable films: these disappear 90% in 2 years, consumed by microorganisms, without impact on the structure of the soil and without accumulation ".
2021 therefore marks the starting point for the application of the regulatory texts which provided for the ban on the use of plastic.