Which Plastics Are Safe For Gardening? (2024)

In the present era, the term ‘climate change’ is not new. Majority of the population understand the term as well as its seriousness. It is an uncontroversial fact that soon it can become the end of humanity on the planet.

For those who are unaware of this term, it is the sudden rise or falls in the global temperature due to various factors. This change in temperature leads to an uneven pattern in rains, snowfall, tsunami. It has affected even the ecology of the planet.

One real-life example of this change is El-Nino as well as El-Nina. Of course, there are other examples too, but these are the best examples at the global level. There are hundreds of factors that are leading to climate change.

However, all these factors come in the category of pollution. As you may know, there are different types of pollution, i.e. soil, air, water and many more. All these factors are a contribution to a huge fraction of climate change. So, what all can we do to control it? Yes, we have to take steps that can reduce pollution.

One of the major pollutants on the planet is plastic. Since its discovery, it has the biggest share of polluting the planet. Some people even use plastics in their garden. Why? Because the material is sturdy and can withstand the toughest climatic conditions. However, not all plastics are the same.  Majority of the plastics in the market lead to pollution in the soil.

Therefore, it is extremely necessary to choose safe plastic for gardening. So, what are the safe plastics? Not aware of them? Do not worry. Here are the safest plastics for gardening.

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Safest plastics for gardening

Polylactic Acid (PLA) Plastic

These are biodegradable plastics that are highly recommended for growing plants. They decompose in the soil after a short period. Thus, the roots of the plant get initial support from the plastic, after that it goes naturally in the soil.

So, how are they biodegradable? Are plastics supposed to be non-biodegradable? It is because of the material used to make these plastics. They are made from corns and other decomposable food items. Thus, they are extremely safe for the soil as they work similarly to plastic.

PET Plastic

Have you seen a plastic bottle of soft drink? Of course, you have. That plastic is known as PET plastic. So, how can you identify a PET plastic? It is simple. There must be number one on the bottom of the bottle and a triangle. The issue with these plastics is that they absorb odor very quickly. One real-life example is the odor of a soft drink.

Even after you wash the bottle, the odor of the original drink does not wash away. Thus, they are difficult to clean. That is the reason they are not preferred for recycling purposes. Irrespective of these factors, the bottles can be used for gardening. However, do not expect the plastic to decompose. Even if it does, that will take a long time.

PP Polypropylene

Let us come back to the bottle of soft drink. In a bottle of soft drink, the plastic used to make the bottle and the cap are different. The plastic used for the bottle is known as PET, while the cap is known as PP. These are opaque plastic and are extremely rigid.

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If you want to plant a try inside your home, then choosing this plastic is the best option. The only issue is that you may have to put huge efforts to find a PP container. It is highly recommended not to put the plastic inside the soil.

Why? This plastic is non-biodegradable and can damage the fertility of the soil. You can easily identify the plastic by a number five at the bottom.

Low-density Polyethylene Plastic (LDPE)

Have you used a garbage bag or a squeezable bottle? The plastic used in these items is known as LDPE. The plastic has the fastest rate of decomposition. Have you bought plants from a nursery? If you have, you may have observed the roots to be covered by black colored plastic.

Yes, that plastic is LDPE. These plastics are designed to hold the plant for a few days. Therefore, you must not use it as a container for a long period. It is highly recommended to plant the sapling in the soil as soon as possible. You can easily identify them by a number four at the bottom.

High-density Polyethylene (HDPE)

This category of plastic is highly used in the food packaging industry. However, this plastic is usually used to make large containers. You can easily identify them with a number 2 at the bottom. These plastics have moderate decomposition. Thus, instead of putting them in soil, you must use them as containers for indoor plants.

Can plastic damage the soil?

Yes, plastic can surely damage the soil in various forms. It can reduce the fertility rate of the soil, and can affect the living beings in the society. Over time, plastic releases chemicals in the soil, which can affect the growth of other plants around it.

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It can even pollute the groundwater by a huge margin. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to use safe plastic that is decomposable in the soil. Even in your daily life, you must avoid plastic as much as possible. Even if you have to, try to use plastics that are safe to use, and do not affect the food.

Wrap up

Plastic has polluted the planet very rapidly. It has polluted the rivers, groundwater, wells, soils, plants and many more. Of course, there are various benefits of plastic in this era. However, it does not mean that we can neglect the demerits.

Similarly, while gardening, try to use plastic as the last option. Instead of plastic, try to use containers made of soil. They are truly environmentally friendly, and do not have any demerit.

Let us say that you have to use plastic. Then you must select plastic only from the list already discussed. Any other plastic can permanently damage the environment. How can you identify them? By the numbers at the bottom as discussed above.

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