Upcycling: planters made from packaging waste

Tin cans as a flower pot
Tin cans as a flower pot

Breathe new life into packaging waste: Why not make planters out of old plastic bottles, cups or food cans instead of throwing them away in the trash can as usual?

All day long we throw things away: food scraps, plastic, paper. The strong increase in packaging waste, mostly consisting of plastic or cardboard, ensures that our garbage mountain is getting bigger and bigger. Whether we like it or not, we are part of a throwaway society. Therefore, it is important not to immediately dispose of things in the trash can, but to simply give them a new purpose. Therefore, her are some upcycling variants as planters, completely at zero cost.

1. Growing pots from toilet paper rolls

Normally, the cardboard rolls of toilet and kitchen paper, just like newsprint, end up directly in the waste paper. Yet they are a cost-effective alternative to purchased planters for everyone. Newspaper can easily be turned into so-called “paper pots” – and cardboard rolls can also serve as compostable planters. Simply cut the cardboard rolls to the desired size, place them in a seed tray and fill them with growing soil. Once the seedlings have rooted through the soil, the rolls can simply be transferred to the bed with them as they rot in the soil. If the rolls are very soggy, they can also be easily detached from the root ball and can be disposed of. For a soil in the plant pot, first press the cardboard roll flat to get an edge. Then flatten the roll in the opposite direction. This will create a square shape. Now the cardboard roll is cut about one centimeter (0.4 in) on each edge and the edges are folded over, similar to a moving box. Now the cardboard pot can be filled with soil and seedlings of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and Co. find their place in it. As a rule, the plant pots last with normal watering until the first repotting or relocation to the bed.

2. Growing in the egg carton

From egg cartons can be made so many things, for example, free growing container for seedlings. To do this, simply cut off the lid and put the lower part in the lid. Now fill soil into the depressions of the egg carton and put the seeds into the soil. After that, the depressions are still carefully watered or sprayed with water and placed in a bright location. If you want, you can still wrap the egg carton with foil or turn it into a mini-greenhouse using old plastic packaging from grapes or tomatoes, for example. Make sure that excess water can drain away. Once the seedlings are big enough, you can either prick them out or cut the egg carton apart and put the little plantlets in the ground with the carton.

3. Tin can as a flower pot

Whether as a vase or plant pot: The reuse possibilities of canned food, beverage cans and Co. are manifold. The tin cans are durable and can be individually designed, which is why they are much too good for the garbage can. If the metal cans are converted into a flower pot, be sure to drill a few holes in the bottom so that the water can drain away.

4. Planters from plastic bottles

Of course, all sorts of plastic bottles are also suitable as planters and vases. Not every plastic bottle is a reusable bottle, so why not make the disposable product still something useful? Simply cut the bottle to the desired size. The resulting sharp edge can be smoothed a little with a lighter. Drill holes for the drainage of watering water, and the planter is ready!

5. Planters from yogurt cups

Whether used to grow tomatoes, lettuce and other vegetables in advance or as a permanent home for cress and herbs, yogurt cups don’t have to end up in the trash right away, but can be given a new purpose. Again, wash out thoroughly and make holes in the bottom so water can drain away. If seedlings are to be pulled, the yogurt cups should be covered with foil. As soon as the seedlings can be seen, the foil is pricked with a fork to allow air to reach the young plant. The money saved in this way can be invested, for example, in high-quality seeds.

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