Milieu-impact van de precisie-irrigatie in Noordwest-Europa
: Efficiëntie, productie en verspreiding van microplastics, en recycling. Onderzoek uitgevoerd in opdracht van Megagroup Trade Holding, Veghel, NL.

Translated title of the thesis: Environmental Impact of Precision Irrigation in North-West Europe: Efficiency, production and distribution of microplastics, and recycling. Research commissioned by Megagroup Trade Holding, Veghel, NL.
  • Marijke Ernest
  • Florian Franken
  • Maxim Startsev

Student thesis: Bachelor's Thesis


Irrigation plays a role in European agriculture, particularly in Northwest Europe where water scarcity is increasing due to climate change. This study evaluates the environmental effects, water use efficiency (WUE), and crop yields of precision irrigation, especially drip irrigation, compared to traditional methods like sprinkler irrigation. Through a systematic literature review, the current irrigation systems and the need for water-saving technologies are examined. The study focuses on the contribution of precision irrigation systems to microplastic pollution in water and soil, as well as the environmental impact of their recycling. These systems, often made of polyethylene, can significantly contribute to microplastic pollution if not fully removed after use. The study emphasizes the potential of precision irrigation to improve WUE and reduce water consumption, although the impact on crop yields varies. Furthermore, it highlights the complexity of the plastic value chain and the importance of collaborations. Despite the benefits of precision irrigation, the research underscores the need for more specific data on its impact on crop yields and the importance of exploring other circular strategies besides recycling to reduce environmental impact. The research recommends further study on the water-saving effects of drip irrigation and emphasizes the importance of collaboration within the plastic value chain to increase efficiency and minimize environmental impact.
Date of Award9 Feb 2024
Original languageDutch
SupervisorAngelique Lansu (Supervisor), Kees-Jan van Dongen (Co-assessor) & Wilfried Ivens (Co-assessor)


  • Druppelirrigatie
  • precisie irrigatie
  • duurzaam waterbeheer
  • efficiëntie van druppelirrigatie
  • effectiviteit van precisie-irrigatie
  • precisie-irrigatie en gewasopbrengst
  • microplastics
  • milieueffecten van plastic in waterirrigatiesystemen
  • recyclingstrategieën van irrigatiesystemen

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