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About Us

Goals of the Center The goals of the Center for Plasticulture are:
  • to encourage development of cutting-edge plasticulture technology for the horticultural crop producer
  • to produce and provide information to crop producers related to plasticulture using integrated crop management models that are both economically and ecologically sound
  • for both plant and animal production systems, to encourage recovery of value from used plastics via recycling or clean energy recovery practices

Typical products used in plasticulture are many. The Center pursues research opportunities and addresses educational programs associated with this wide array of plastic items, including but not limited to:

  • bunk silo covers
  • hay and silage bags and wraps
  • baling twine and ties
  • low tunnel, high tunnel, nursery house and greenhouse covers
  • mulch films
  • drip irrigation tape and tubing
  • row and floating row covers
  • sun shades and screens
  • nursery pots, trays, tray inserts, and flats
  • baskets and clamshells
  • fumigation films
  • pails and barrels
  • degradable and biodegradable plastics
  • edible films
  • plastic fittings and parts associated with many of these systems

    History of the Center

    The Center for Plasticulture was established June, 1998 and is housed in the Department of Horticulture on Penn State’s University Park Campus.

    Initial funding for the Center was obtained from state funding sources. Today, industry supports most activities at the Center. The Director of the Center heads an advisory committee responsible for determining Center policy, research direction, and proposal selection. Dr. Michael Orzolek has been Director since the center’s inception.