In many countries, farmers and gardeners use mulch films to increase their crop yields. The films are often made of polyethylene and can be used to control weed growth, soil temperature and water consumption. Unfortunately the petroleum-based material is not biodegradable. Consequently, the film residues must be collected at the end of the season with considerable effort or they will pollute the fields. As part of the NewHyPe project, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC are working with European partners to develop sustainable, biodegradable mulch papers with a protective hybrid coating.