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The Plastic Story

Let me begin by welcoming you to Good Roots Barn, I hope you are enjoying the website and the products.

The first topic I wanted to address, is of course plastic. Now let me begin by saying we are NOT anti plastic. Now this might sound counter intuitive coming from a company that is promoting plastic free gardening supplies but the truth of it is that plastic is actually an incredible product, it’s durable, it’s cheap and it lasts FOREVER. I am a gardener and I still use plastic within my garden, the difference being that my plastic use comes from other peoples discarded plastic, the plastic pots and trays they have deemed ‘rubbish’ or no longer serve a purpose in their gardens, come home with me. So I am that person you see with their head in the “return your pots” crate typically found at garden centres, legs flailing around trying to reach the very bottom just in case I missed a real gem of a pot!

It would be naive and irresponsible to think we could just ‘get rid’ of all the plastic gardening products currently in circulation and neither should we as this would only exasperate the current environmental issues we face. We need to use them, all the plastic pots that are in your possession, use them or at the very least pass them onto someone who can put them to good use but at the very least we need to be keeping them out of landfills and out of our oceans.

Plastic is not disposable and we shouldn’t treat it as if it is. It has been reported that half a billion plastic plant pots end up in landfill or incineration plants every single year. Please take a moment to read that again, half a billion plastic plant pots end up in landfill or incineration every single year. Now that is a scary reality and thats just the figure for pots, that doesn’t include trays or any other ‘single-use’ plastic products being sold to you today, just pots! Not only is this a frightening statistic but it’s just one product, when I look back at all the plastic I’ve ‘thrown away’ it haunts me but there is hope, it can easily be avoided if we change our attitude about how we use plastic. I have personally witnessed on a tremendous scale how the horticulture industry has misused plastic and sadly it almost always came down to money.

Plastic is cheap! It’s cheap to buy, it’s cheap to make but when it comes to the health of the environment it’s a material we can’t afford in the long run. As gardeners, the very best way we can reduce plastic pollution is to continue using the plastic you currently have and at the same time encourage the industry to stop making it. As the consumer you hold all the power, every time you part with your money you are making a decision about the type of world you want to live in and what you leave behind for future generations. Your spending habits are conveying to the manufactures that there is a market for their product, so lets take a stand and say no, we want better. We want better for our planet and we want better for our gardens.

What can you do:

  1. Where possible stop buying plastic, now I know this is a stretch but it can be done, you can grow from seed and if this is not possible there are companies that you can support like The Hairy Pot Plant Company and Edible Culture who are paving the way for plastic free gardening

  2. But if you want to continue to support your local garden centre (and I encourage that you do) and if they don’t already offer a return/recycling point at their site for your old pots, then ask them to introduce one

  3. Use the plastic you already have, take care of it and it will last and if you really don’t like the look of the tired old black pots, there are some excellent ideas on our Pinterest page for you to do a little up-cycling

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