OUR ANTI-PLASTIC IDEA
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