Plastic Containers as Planters: Safe or Not?

Plastic Containers as Planters: Safe or Not?


Plastics You Should Never Plant In

And these are the plastics you should avoid and not use in your garden or when growing food…


PVC or V (polyvinyl chloride). You see the triangle symbol with the #3 inside at the bottom of the plastic. These are used in some ‘soft’ bottles and commercial cling wraps. Also the same plastic used for sewer lines and potable water distribution.

PS (polystyrene). The triangle symbol has a #6 inside. Examples are meat and bakery trays and Styrofoam containers. This plastic material leaches toxic chemicals when heated.

Everything else. The triangle symbol has a #7 inside. Just avoid plastics with this symbol because their origin and process are uncertain. Examples: 5-gallon water bottles, some metal can linings and believe it or not, some baby bottles.

When assembling your planters, make sure you use only plastics with numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 as these are safer (less bad?) than the rest.

We don’t claim to be experts on this matter and you are welcome to share your thoughts on the comments box. 🙂

Learn more about gardening organically in our Fresh Organic Gardening Guide.