Plastic Free Cotgrave

Reducing single-use plastics



(With huge thanks to our Allies at the Community Garden for lots of great ideas!)





Re-use: This is a great opportunity to re-purpose all those plastic trays and boxes you have been squirreling away!
Rather than buying small plastic pots module and seed trays, why not re-use soft fruit punnets and mushroom containers to start seeds? If you're careful, you can wash, store and re-use several times before eventually recycling them. Here are some old plastic food containers being used as seed trays at the Garden.


Seed labels- the Gardeners use a mixture of materials for seed labels:

  • cut up milk bottles into labels and use a sharpie to write on. These can be reused or recycled.
  • wooden lolly sticks - use a pencil and rub out to reuse


You can use toilet rolls for seedlings which like a lot of space for roots and don't like disturbance such as peas, sweet peas, beans and sweet corn.


Propagation: How about using a discarded cupcake tray with a lid as a mini propagator for chilli seeds?


Rubber and strong plastic seed trays and modules trays are a great investment and extremely robust, if you want something that is going to last.


Wooden seed trays are available or easy to make.




Seed Trays

Plant pots


Re-use/pass on: The best option is to avoid buying all those pots in the first place! (‘Buy less stuff’!) The sound advice from The Garden is to grow your own plants from seed. But if you have too many pots from buying plants or plug plants, some garden centres will take them and reuse them or give them away.


Buy less plastic: If you need more pots, then check out the free bins at some garden centres, or you can buy coir or cardboard pots.


Make your own pots! Paper pots are good to replace small plastic pots to grow on seedlings. You can use various sizes of food tins on which to mould them, using newspaper. Roll the paper around the tin and fold up the bottom. When you slide the tin out you have a surprisingly strong pot. Roots will break through the paper as it degrades so you can plant the whole thing straight in the ground and save the roots from being disturbed. You can do the same with egg cartons and toilet rolls.







Buy less plastic: A good way to avoid plastic compost bags is make your own compost and buy in bulk if possible. The Gardeners have a good composting system to save them buying compost in the future, but until the compost is ready they've been buying in bulk loads.


Re-use: Alternatively, re-use the bags as large containers for potatoes, tomatoes, peppers - pretty much anything will grow happily in an old compost bag!




Did you know you can grow your own?


Make nettle and comfrey tea- nettle is high in nitrogen to benefit leafy plants and comfrey high in potassium for flowers. Chop the plants up (every part) and leave in a bucket of water for a few weeks. Weigh the plant matter down with a brick to condense it and give it a stir once in a while but beware it gets really stinky! Dilute in a mixture with water 1:10and water the soil or use nettle tea as a foliage spray.