Iâ€™m sure we all feel that the earthâ€™s plastic mountain is out of control and weâ€™d like to help alleviate the problem where we can.
As gardeners, we already recycle vegetative garden material and kitchen waste â€“ vegetable peelings, outer cabbage/lettuce leaves etc., eggshells, tea, coffee granules and shredded papers â€“ into our compost heaps or bins.
This is a great start in reducing landfill use and the energy used to get it there. Iâ€™m sure most of us also recycle newspapers, cardboard, old blankets and carpets in the garden. All are excellent as weed suppressants and for warming the vegetable plot.
The use of plastic is becoming unfavourable. We can play our part in reducing the plastic waste by, firstly, using any plastic pots, plug trays and seed trays until they are no longer usable. Then, instead of buying new plastic trays look for alternatives. In most cases, an excess of unwanted pots can be taken back to the nursery or garden centre for reuse. The horticultural trade uses over 500 million plastic pots in the UK!
There are biodegradable pot alternatives on the market now, and I hope more choice will be available soon. Alternatives are currently made from coir, rice husks, grasses or seaweed. Traditionally, sweet peas were sown into handmade newspaper or toilet roll tubes and I would encourage more use of this method. Other paper based propagation trays and pots are becoming increasingly more popular. Also traditional terracotta pots can be reused time after time. Likewise china and metaled pots can be used instead of plastic and the trend of using old work boots is fantastic.
If everyone does something, even small, to help reduce the plastic mountain, then the world will undoubtedly be a better a place to live in.
Coreen Connell is Head of Propagation at Kevock Garden Plants.