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There are a few reasons why plastic is bad for plants. Too many, actually…

Plastic can block the flow of water and air to the plant, which can lead to dehydration or suffocation. It can cause physical damage to the plant by wrapping around it or puncturing it. Plastic can leach chemicals into the soil that can be taken up by plants, which can be toxic.

But is this all?  No.

Even in gardening, a real know-how guide will always say that it’s best to use clay, wood, and other natural materials, because plastic doesn’t allow the plant to breathe.

The roots need oxygen to stay healthy, and if they’re not getting enough oxygen, the plant will eventually die.

There are plenty of other reasons why plastic isn’t the best material for planting plants in. For one, it can retain heat more than other materials, which can be harmful to the plant. Additionally, plastic is more likely to break or crack than other materials, which can damage the roots of the plant.

Imagine what huge piles of plastic can do to the wild nature around us with no human control.

Plastic also influences other living organisms in the environment, which can then have a knock-on effect on plants.

And there’s a lot of other stuff we’re learning about the effects of plastic on plants too:

Photosynthesis and Plastic

Plastic is just an inert material that doesn’t interact with or affect the things around it… Ah well, this isn’t actually the case – especially when it comes to plants.

It turns out that plastic can have a negative impact on plant life, specifically when it comes to photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is the process that plants use to convert sunlight into energy, and it’s essential for their survival. However, when plastic is present, it can interfere with this process and prevent plants from being able to photosynthesize properly.

Plastic can block out some of the sunlight that plants need for photosynthesis to occur. This can reduce the amount of energy that plants are able to produce, and make it more difficult for them to grow and thrive.

This is how plastic, directly, influences photosynthesis and instantly makes it more difficult for plants to thrive.

This has a serious impact on plant life, and can ultimately lead to the death of plants if they’re not able to photosynthesize properly.

Water Evaporation and Plastic

This is one of the features plastic possesses and why we love it so much.

One of the main reasons why plastic is used in so many different applications is because it is not permeable. This means that water cannot evaporate or pass through it, which makes it an ideal material for storing liquids.

There are many different types of plastic, but all of them share this common trait. This is why plastic containers are often used to store water, juice, and other beverages.

Another common use for plastic is in food packaging. This is because plastic can help to keep food fresh and free from contamination.

Plastic wrap is also commonly used to keep food fresh. It works by sealing in the natural moisture of the food, which prevents it from drying out.

Finally, plastic is also used in a variety of medical applications. It can be used to make disposable syringes, catheters, and even artificial limbs.

All of these applications are possible because plastic is not permeable. This means that it can prevent water from evaporating or passing through it.

As a result, it is an essential material in many different industries but for nature, and specifically, plants that grow around us that we usually aren’t even aware of,  it’s a huge problem.

Plants need to breathe and through plastic, it’s an impossible thing to do.

Heat and Plastic

Plastic is a material that is made from petroleum products and it does not decompose. It takes thousands of years for plastic to break down, which means that every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some form today.

When plastic waste ends up in the environment, it can have devastating effects on plants, wildlife, and even humans.

One of the most dangerous (alright, some uses of this are deemed positive) things about plastic is that it traps heat.

This can be extremely harmful to plants and marine life, as it can cause them to overheat and die. In fact, plastic is one of the leading causes of death for marine animals. The same material that can help us grow things, if we neglect the use of it, can kill our environment, like this:

Every year, millions of marine animals are killed by ingesting plastic or becoming entangled in plastic waste.

While the effects of plastic on the environment are well-documented, the effects of plastic on human health are not as well understood. However, there is evidence that exposure to plastic can be harmful to human health. For example, some chemicals used in the production of plastic have been linked to cancer and other health problems.

Plants and Plastic Chemicals

Chemicals from plastics can leach into the soil and water, and be taken up by plants. This can happen when the plastic is in contact with the soil or water, or when it breaks down over time. Chemicals from plastics can also be released into the air.

Some of the chemicals that can leach out of plastics include:

  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Phthalates
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Flame retardants
  • Lead
  • Cadmium

These chemicals can be harmful to human health and the environment. They can cause cancer, birth defects, and other health problems.

There are ways to reduce the amount of chemicals that leach out of plastics. You can choose products made with less toxic materials, and recycle or reuse plastics instead of throwing them away.

The effect that this has on plants is devastating. These chemicals can damage plant leaves, roots, and flowers. They can also kill plant cells, causing the plant to eventually die.

That is also why a gardener will never plant in just any kind of plastic container but will carefully use recommended natural materials.


While plastic does have many benefits, and its use is unavoidable in our lives, it also has many downsides. It should be considered a temporary solution, however, it’s still not.

One of the most significant problems with plastic is that it is not biodegradable. This means that it will remain in the environment for centuries, causing pollution and harming wildlife.

If you’re concerned about the impact of plastic on the environment, it’s important to be aware of how it can affect plant life.

And, if you want to help make a difference, you can avoid using plastic as much as possible and recycle the plastic you do use. And spread the word!