Plastics on Allotments

Are you concerned about the overuse of plastics on allotments? Would you like to see more sustainable, alternative options to plastic?

H&DAA is considering some initiatives to investigate and, hopefully, reduce the use of plastics around our allotment sites.

In overview there appear to be 4 main categories of use of plastics on allotments:

  • Soil covering: plastic sheeting is used to cover soil to keep weeds at bay and act as a mulch. Plastic sheets can be replaced by cardboard or green manures which also help to suppress weeds.
  • Crop protection: polytunnels and plastic cloches can provide warmth to aid crop growth; plastic-based netting can help protect crops from pests. Sustainable alternatives may be possible but are not so easily obtainable.
  • Growing medium: plastic pots and trays are ubiquitous these days. It is possible to use pots  made from earthenware or from organic material but these are often not as easy to use as plastic pots.
  • Other uses: e,g, plastic compost bins are common, although bins made from wood are relatively easy to construct.
Plastic compost bins on allotment in the snow
Plastic compost bins on Golden Hill
A mountain of plastic pots
A mountain of plastic pots

Some of the options to reduce our use of plastic in any or all of these categories could be:

  • Use of alternatives to plastics (as described above)
  • Reuse/recycle plastic material
  • Share materials amongst plotholders

We are looking for people on our allotments who are interested in getting involved in this project. We welcome any initiatives to reduce our use of plastics, to establish priorities and to suggest ways in which sustainability can be promoted. e.g. making our allotment sites hedgehog-friendly.

Please let us know what you think via the Contact Us page or if you would like to be involved in the fight against plastics.