Homepage 2019 » Forums » Plants, Climates and Soils » Sheet mulching/cardboard ink

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  dianerosecook 4 years, 11 months ago.

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    Cardboard is meant to be really good in sheet mulching. I’m just about to do some of it in my backyard but I’m concerned about the ink in the text written on the cardboard(heavy metals/general chemicals). Does anyone knows anything about that? Thanks very much



    The glossy magazine covers are toxic. All newspapers are okay because they use soy ink. I read this in the book called Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture twist. Not sure about cardboard, but I saw Lawton using it in his videos.



    Good question. I was also wondering that about old clothes. Somewhere i heard it talked about, using old jeans in the same way as the cardboard, and i wondered about if there is a problem with chemical dyes, synthetic materials, etc. I have access to ALOT of old clothes and would love to save them from the land fill. Any thoughts or experience welcome. Thanks!



    I;m also curious about that and have always backed away from using the cardboard and newspapers because of suspecting toxicity in the materials wether it’s toxic polymers or other ingredients in the inks or paper makng process. would love an answer about that



    I know that here in France, the ink in newspapers is not toxic anymore–but I think it used to be bad stuff. As for cardboard, I usually use the kind that is plain brown or has little or no ink whatsoever.

    Also our organic coop sells all bulk items in biodegradable paper sacs printed with soy ink, so I know they are ok. I save them up and line my compost bucket with them or can use them to do a quick sheet mulch in an area if needed. (although they’re slower to acculmulate than cardboard!) But I wonder if a coop would also be able to tell you about what’s in its cardboard for those who are worried?



    i have done research on this a few months ago. mainly on uk and german websites and surprising 98% of what i found suggested that there is nothing bad in the newspaper ink. (!!!) glossy magazines of course are not an option at all. what i did find were several sources suggesting that blue is the only colour that still contains toxic metals in low-ish concentration. ever since i simply avoid the pages with big blue filling spaces – ideally of course you can get your hands of two-colour newspaper or cardboard. generally cardboard printing tends to be black and white anyway.



    I moved house in Feb and had so much white wrapping paper and carboard boxes. I kept the boxes stacked out in the open through the wet season and I am now using them to plant fruit trees in. I have reformed the boxes – with the bottoms and tops open, buried them upright, filled them with home made soil and they are so happy. In the south west of Australia our natural soil is broken down rock but the soft, mulchy boxes protect young trees until they are strong enough to burst through them.

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