Anyone who is into gardening already has eco-friendly creds, right? Actually, when it comes to plastic waste, even Auntie Mabel has a dark secret.
Every year the UK produces 500 million plastic pots, not to mention plastic bags of dirt and compost. Recycling plants are often not equipped to sort out these mixed plastics - most end up in landfill or incineration plants.
There are many ways to keep plastic pollution out of your garden.
Plastic pots and tray containers. Avoid these altogether by planting seedlings in mini plant pots made from old newspaper. Too many seedlings? Share them with the neighbours or on Freecycle. Use biodegradable pots - you can literally plant the whole pot straight into the ground. Isn’t that even more convenient than plastic ?
Avoid plastic bags for compost and mulch. Buy them in cardboard. Take your own reusable bag - some councils provide free loose compost. Or just make your own (see our Rot 'n' Roll section for tips).
Avoid pesticides and weedkillers in plastic bottles. We all know about the decline of bees due to commercial pesticides. Our food crops rely on bee pollination. That means if bees go down, they're taking us with them. There are plenty of natural alternatives like coffee grounds, salt or hot pepper, that keep pests at bay.
Bees pollinate 70 of the 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world
Buy durable gardening tools. Ideally metal or wood, with a decent guarantee against breakage - they may not survive two world wars like the tools in your grandad's shed, but should at least outlive your allotment tenancy.
Finally, don’t forget to pee on your garden! Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a valuable organic fertiliser, so why not monetise it... Just make sure Auntie Mabel isn’t watching.