Geodaysit 2023

A GIS-based model to map gravity centers of agricultural end-of-life plastics for a sustainable waste management
06-13, 09:00–09:15 (Europe/London), Sala Biblioteca @ PoliBa

Agricultural plastics applications are essential for both quality and production increase and for the efficiency improvement of agricultural systems. However, they generate significant amounts of waste that pose a serious threat to the environment and to the agro-ecosystem. Effective waste management strategies are required to address this issue, which can be achieved through several means, such as the development of a comprehensive and accurate map of agricultural plastic waste (APW) gravity centers. This paper presents a GIS-based model for mapping APW gravity centers in the province of Bari, Italy.
The study first highlights the importance of agricultural plastics in promoting the productivity of the agricultural system and the coupled negative impact that APW has on the environment and agro-ecosystem. The implementation of plastic waste production indices, which take into consideration the properties of the plastic applications used in the production system, is then discussed. These indices provide a quantitative assessment of the amount and type of APW generated in different areas, enabling effective mapping of the distribution of APW.
To map APW gravity centers, land use maps and APW indices are used to identify the areas with the highest APW generation. Gravity centers for the collection, selection and first treatment of end-of-life plastics to be sent to the recycling plants, are determined based on the amount of APW generated, with areas producing higher volumes of waste resulting in a closer gravity center for waste collection and management. The model is implemented in the province of Bari, Italy, which has a large agricultural sector and significant APW generation.
The results of the study show that the GIS-based model is effective in identifying areas with the highest APW generation, allowing for more efficient and effective waste management strategies. The study also shows that the highest concentrations of APW gravity centers are in areas with intensive agriculture, such as greenhouse farming and vineyards covered with plastic films and nets. These areas generate large volumes of waste and require efficient waste management strategies.
Moreover, the study highlights the need for a comprehensive mapping of APW gravity centers to develop effective waste management strategies. The model can also be expanded to other regions with a large agricultural sector and significant APW generation.