Anyone who is into gardening already has eco-friendly creds, right? Actually, when it comes to plastic waste, even a green hobby like gardening has an impact.
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.
Here are our top tips for plastic-free gardening.
#1: Ditch the plastic pots. Avoid them altogether by planting seedlings in mini plant pots made from old newspaper. They're easy to make by using a paper potter. Too many seedlings? Share them with the neighbours or on Freecycle. If you don't want to spend time making paper pots, you can also get biodegradable plant pots.
When the seedlings are ready for planting, you simply plant the whole pot in the soil, and the paper will biodegrade - genius!
#2: Avoid plastic bags for compost and mulch. Some councils provide free loose compost, so you can take your own reusable bag. Or try start composting at home (Check out our Kitchen Waste Composting blog for tips). Coconut coir is another genius, waste-free product for the garden. It's made from the fibrous husk of coconut shells, that would otherwise have been discarded, which is then ground and compressed to make a fantastic growing medium for seedlings.
#3: 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
#4: 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.
Have you made plastic-free swaps in the garden? Let us know in the comments below!