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2229Re: [pfaf] Cardboard - toxic or not?

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  • Travis Philp
    Mar 1, 2008
      Thanks for all of your input everyone, though I feel like I'm more confused than when I started :)

      I do only use cardboard in the first year of my garden beds but I am still concerned about what that leaves behind. I feel more confident in cardboard than I do black plastic or bio mulch but I'd still like to know exactly what I'm putting in my soil. It may be something that doesn't leach out. The quantity of toxins left behind may not be large but with some toxins as you probably no...it doesn't take much to do a lot of damage. I'm very concerned with water retardants that may be present in the cardboard and what that may include in its ingredients.

      As for safe alternative paper sources such as hemp...I don't think they're very abundant here in Ontario Canada. Hemp is just beginning to become a local industry and I am not aware of any hemp paper producers within feasible distance of my home.

      I think I'll call Smurfit-Stone (cardboard producer) and see if I can get a straight answer from them. I'm guessing their definition of toxic is looser than mine though.

      I practice a similar style of lasagne garden bed preparation as mentioned in a previous post and I've been thinking of replacing the cardboard layer with an extra layer of leaves or straw. It may not be quite as effective but should do the trick. Unfortunately I have to get my mulch materials from offsite because I garden at my college's community garden and therefore cannot grow my own mulch plants.

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