Plastic Containers as Planters: Safe or Not?

Plastic Containers as Planters: Safe or Not?


For many urban growers, small space is a problem that limits their planting options. Due to this, they resort to using plastics in growing their food. However, there is a big concern regarding using these unnatural products when growing things for consumption.


One of the biggest questions thrown at organic gardeners, and indeed that organic gardeners ask themselves, is this:

Do plastic containers leach chemicals into the soil that is absorbed by plants and ultimately by us?

In this article, we are going to tackle 3 important points:

  1. SOME plastics are unsafe and they DO leach toxins
  2. There is GOOD in re-using plastic containers as planters
  3. You can CHOOSE what plastic to use as planters

Not All Plastics Are Harmful

container 6The general notion is that all plastics are harmful and should be avoided completely. Many times, we have encountered people saying that using plastics to grow vegetables and fruits defeats the very idea of growing naturally or organically.

Though it is true that plastic products are not natural, what will landless people use to grow their own food? They can opt to buy pots sure, but that would be spending more money – most people grow their own food to save money. And buying pots will mean more resources are ‘harvested’ from Mother Nature to make the pots.

Re-using plastic containers is cheaper and it does keep them away from landfills (one of the benefits by the way).

There are other materials that can be used of course, like wooden pallets but sometimes supplies are not always available and they don’t last very long.

Using plastic containers to grow food for your family is not all that bad – provided you know which plastics to use. As stated, some plastics are harmful and they do leach toxins to the soil especially when they are heated or exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods of time. You will find out later on which plastic types are safe to use…

The Good In Re-Using Plastics as Planters

  • Plastics are kept away from landfills where they will stay in an undecomposed state for thousands of years
  • They can be found almost anywhere
  • They are cheap
  • They are easy to use
  • They last a long time
  • Re-using plastic containers minimizes the need to use up more resources that are sadly not being replenished