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Green thumbs can improve plastics recycling

By BETH BOTTS, Chicago Tribune

July 11, 2007

garden_pots.jpgIn the garage, shed or basement of nearly every gardener, you will find stacks of plastic pots. Then there are mulch bags, pesticide and fertilizer bottles, flat trays from six-packs of annuals. We think of our gardening as greening the world, but it generates a lot of plastic garbage.

Gardeners may not realize how much. Nursery pots, flats and cell packs use up to 320 million pounds of plastic a year, according to a 2004 estimate from the Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences in University Park, Pa.

Where does it all go? We may reuse some pots or crumple some cell packs in the bottom of containers to save potting mix. But in the end, most of the plastic from our gardens goes to landfills or hazardous-waste incinerators. Full story...

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