Plastic Free Gardening

by David Bundy

Although plastic has been around for around 150 years, it was not until 1960 when the plastic bag came into being as an answer to the ‘Save a Tree Campaign’. This was followed by the notion that using cotton was taking a vital resource from a developing economy, and the Friends of the Earth notion that wool should stay on a sheep. Thus not only plastic bags but then clothing and just about everything else. Thus we now live in a world which is drowning in plastic for which at the present cannot be got rid of. Indeed there is no doubt that even our drinking water could have minute particles in it.


It is important as gardeners that we make the effort to reduce the amount of plastic we use. Once plant pots were all terracotta, seed trays wooden and plant labels wooden. Now everything is plastic. But help is on the way.


It is possible to get seed trays of several depths and sizes made from natural rubber. This rubber lasts a great deal longer than plastic, and natural rubber, unlike man made rubber, is biodegradable. Similarly plant labels can be made out of sustainable bamboo, and twine from rubberised sheep’s wool.


Rubber is tapped from live trees which as they replenish themselves they absorb more carbon dioxide. Bamboo is fast growing and therefore also able to sequester carbon dioxide, and is biodegradable. Wool is water resistant, and of course biodegradable.


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this article is an extract from a longer article by the author