Toxicity of using plastic containers/earthbox

trakehner_26(6)February 14, 2009

I just wanted to know what everybody thinks about using any type of plastic storage container (Rubbermaid, Sterlite,etc.) for growing a garden in. I was reading about people who use these to make their own self-watering containers, and earthboxes, earthtainers,etc. I just think that these could pose problems as far as becoming heated by the sun, and then leaching out toxins which the plants could pick up. Also, I thought that the plastic storage containers may not hold up well in the sun. What does everyone think about this issue? I would really like to use these as they are cheaper than the name brands (like earthbox) but I'm still worried. Thank you. ~Karen

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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

Hey, Raybo the gent who designed the earthtainer. Recently told me he doesn't recommend the sterilite containers cuz he has had the them break apart after a few yrs. Rubber maid! I don't think toxic leech is a problem. But if it bothers you that much. Do a container search on the web and companies will come up... alot of them sell food grade tubs and such.. but you will pay the price for them!!

I guess Raybo and others have been using rubbermaid and others for a while now.... their still alive.

Want to be all green, Clay pots, they been around for centuries or plain ole mother earth she's been growing plants since the begining.. LoL

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Hi, thank you for responding. You bring up good points, if the rubbermaid containers do not seem to be a problem of leeching, that would be awesome. It just seems logical that a combo of heat, and the materials used in manufacture would be a cause of problems.
I know some plastics have had materials banned because of health problems caused, and I've even read about studies showing negative health impacts from simply using regular water bottles. I know people using these are still alive, but the toxins created within the body are hard to neutralize, and from some evidence, seems to cause/be related to many health problems that Americans experience.
I guess I'd just like to be healthy as possible, while my crops should have the ability to create a body that is healthy as possible.
Again, you are appreciated for the post. You have some real good points that are a direct truth. Thank you. ~Karen

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:00AM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

Hey Karen

Sorry if it came out to sarcastic, wasn't my intention... actually was trying to be slightly humorous... Ah the written word.......

I am new here and have been reading alot, searches etc.. I did come across a thread or two about containers and toxitity. But I couldn't remember where I saw them, that's why I didn't mention them. You might try a search and see if you can find them. I remember the underlying message that they were reasonably safe. I just don't remember the details everyone gave.

I am aware of the recent plastic concerns etc agree with your concerns. But mpo is, if toxic chemical leeching was a real problem it would probably effect the plant or fruit some way. And I don't hear alot or none of that. I feel it has to be healthier than the store bought commercialized produce picked early and covered in chemicals to stay fresh looking, that you get at the 'super market' LoL

I think it should be ok. But I would stay away from any containers that held some really nasty chemical of what ever.. Later

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 8:08AM
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Hey Rob,
No way, I didn't take your post as being sarcastic in any way! I may have come across different though, and I did think that what you wrote was pretty funny. Anyways, thank you for the post, and I might lean more towards your side of the information. I guess I can't know for sure until I try it, right? HA I'm just thinking of allthe possibilities of what could be planted in these things! LOL
I really would like to try to grow some very highly nutritious fruits/veges, which being that I'm so tight, would be a much better option considering the ridiculous prices of regular produce which is not near as nutrient dense, and like you said, so chemically laden! LOL Bye for now.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 9:23AM
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the_gurgler(DFW TX 7b Sunset 33)

Old thread, but I thought I would try to help.

I'm not sure of the type of plastic that is used in the Rubbermaid bins. Checking the recycle number, if it is on the tubs, can tell you what it is made of. Types 2, 4, and 5 are suppose to the better types of plastic that are BPA-free. Obviously a clay pot is probably a even safer choice, but there can always be surprises.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:54PM
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I disagree with the prior poster's information about the grades of plastic. I recall reading an article that stated that the higher the number the worse the danger is about leaching.

Best thing to do, if it is a concern, try to use food grade plastic bins. But you are looking to save money if you are looking to improvise. This is kinda like would you stop eating fish b/c it has mercury risks or does the benefit of eating mercury laced fish out weigh the risk....your call.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 2:13PM
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