A question on the use of shopping bags in the vegetable garden
June 2, 2010 6:14 AM   Subscribe

If I use ASDA and Sainsbury's recycled/reusable shopping bags to grow veg in, will I poison myself?

They're cheap and I have a load spare. Folded inside out and tucked back in on themselves, they make great plant pots.

Thing is, they're plastic and I hear some plastics are bad. I also hear some plastics are good. (Hence, plants pots and growbags.)

There doesn't seem to be any information regarding materials or manufacture on the bags themselves. Apart from the print, both ASDA and Sainsbury's bags look identical so I assume they're made by the same company. The only thing I know is that they're made from '100% recycled plastic'.

These are not your standard thin walled, wine bottles falling through the bottom of, carrier bags. They are the thicker, reusable kind that you have to pay for.

So, does anyone know anything about these bags and whether they might contain toxins or not? (...and whether I might be doing damage to myself by growing vegetables in them).

(Bonus points for information on B&Q compost sacks.)
posted by run"monty to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
Best answer: The vast majority of plastic bags are mady from polyethylene (polythene). This is a very inert, very safe plastic - one of the safest manufactured materials there is. And if they were likely to release toxic chemicals, do you think the supermarkets would be giving them to you to put food in?

The difference between the thin bags and the reusable ones is largely one of amount of material, although there may be differences in the density of polythene used in the bags.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:56 AM on June 2, 2010

I can't speak to the suitability of the plastic, but you'll need to make sure you have enough drainage. Ideally this would be underneath, but you can do it on the sides, as low down as possible. If you don't, you'll get water logged plants.
posted by Solomon at 7:45 AM on June 2, 2010

« Older Should our chain company shut down unofficial...   |   Playstation 3 - Which to console buy? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.