What are my options for eco-friendly and chemical-free/nontoxic planters?

Asked by Maria Mayer
Blaine, WA

I am trying to find the most eco-friendly, non-chemical-leaching planters to grow my vegetables/fruits/herbs in. I am very apprehensive about using plastic pots, due to chemical BPA leaching. I have just discovered coconut liner window planters as an eco option but noticed that there is some sticky binder substance. What is this, and are they 100% toxic, chemical free? What are your best recommendations?


Doug Cameron, LEED GA

Answered by Doug Cameron, LEED GA

Austin, TX

EcoSafe Spaces, LLC

July 29, 2011

Anything made from ceramics, glass, metal, or even cedar would be a good candidate, depending on the specific use.

  • The BPA issue is related to #7 plastic, usually in the form of a clear epoxy-type lining that exists inside cans and some baby bottles, etc.
  • Most plastic planters probably don't have BPA, but nonetheless, plastic does have the potential to leach even if it's not BPA.
  • Certain plastics are safer than others (#1,#2,and #5 plastics are the safest, and #3 PVC and #7 are the worst).

With the exception of glass, it's fairly difficult to completely waterproof anything without incorporating a plastic-like polymer or a petroleum-based product.

That said, if you can find a creative way to eliminate the need for a complete water seal, that would probably be your best bet.


For more information:

Read "Is a resin planter safe for planting vegetables?" a Q&A answered by Richard Heller.

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