NZ Gardener - - Letters -

I have just read Jo’s col­umn about plas­tic pack­ag­ing in the gar­den (Novem­ber 2018). Throw­away plas­tic in the gar­den in­dus­try is a big and un­ac­knowl­edged prob­lem. I take par­tic­u­lar is­sue with all the plas­tic pots and the plas­tic la­bels at­tached to them – the la­bels have be­come big­ger and glossier. Some nurs­eries will take pots back but many big re­tail­ers do not, as far as I can tell.

Farm­ing is a big user of plas­tic too, but while the farm­ing in­dus­try re­ceives much crit­i­cism, the gar­den­ing in­dus­try is some­how per­ceived as “green” when re­ally it isn’t. Sure, plants mostly come in shades of green but think of the soil prod­ucts en­cased in plas­tic, and the plas­tic pots, plant la­bels and swiz­zle sticks, and the hand tools en­cased in a plas­tic blis­ter on card­board back­ing.

Now, we have be­gun re­mov­ing plas­tic pack­ag­ing from farm pur­chases and leav­ing it at the store. We pull out swiz­zle sticks and la­bels, and leave them at gar­den shops. Shop staff prob­a­bly think we are sad odd­i­ties but if 50 peo­ple a day walk in, strip their pur­chases of plas­tic and walk out again, it could be­come a move­ment. Re­tail­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers would be del­uged with un­wanted pack­ag­ing; it would make them think. It is time we all did some­thing other than feel vir­tu­ous be­cause we pack­age our gro­ceries in re­us­able shop­ping bags at the su­per­mar­ket. Vir­ginia Pawsey, HAWARDEN

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