Plastic bottles in the garden
Our third article in the pre-spring mini-series looks at how you can make the most of waste plastic around the house; in particular by up-cycling nuisance plastic bottles so they can be repurposed into useful items for your garden. A great way to prepare for spring.
The scale of the plastic crisis is utterly monumental. Every single year, 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced by industry around the globe. From a consumer standpoint, we now purchase one million plastic bottles every single minute of the day, that's 17,000 every second. Estimations suggest that these numbers are still increasing, with annual consumption expected to pass through 585 billion bottles in the next year.
What makes this all the more worrying is that only half of all purchased plastic bottles are collected for recycling. Of those collected, only 7% go on to make new bottles. This means most plastic bottles end in landfill or casually litters our landscape for hundreds of years.
Much of this dormant plastic makes its way to the ocean (around 10 million tonnes per year) through a network of rivers and streams. Once in the ocean it wreaks havoc on marine life that subsequently ingests the plastic as it breaks into micro fragments, meaning more and more plastic particles in the food chain. It's staggering to comprehend that by 2050 the ocean will actually contain more plastic by weight than fish.
I think you'll agree that things need to change, and fast!
Things will not change overnight, but you can do your bit by simply not purchasing plastic bottles from this moment forward. Invest in a reusable water bottle, and start to use refills for condiments or cleaning products. These changes will apply consumer pressure that in turn drives industry change. No demand ultimately means no supply. If you do have to use plastic bottles then you can put them to good use by up-cycling the tops and bottoms so they can be used around the garden.
There’s a garden solution here for everyone. From planters, to hanging pots, and mini-greenhouses; the options are so varied - just add drainage/breathing holes as required and use for years and years.
Small changes, big impact!