It is infuriating to receive polystyrene packaging that was not requested and it is soul destroying to bag it for landfill.

However, it can have a second use when used in potting up large containers.

Planting up especially large pots and outsized, repurposed containers can be expensive as they require so much compost to fill them. While you can add cheaper, poor quality soil first before the all important thicker layer of good quality soil, the sheer amount of soil used makes the containers nigh impossible to move.

The polystyrene packaging that we are often presented too much of when we buy goods can have a valuable second life here. Break it up into large pieces and use as the base layer to the oversized containers before filling the rest of the space up with compost. They are lighter than soil and still allow water drainage.

A word of warning, snapping the polystyrene can make an unholy mess of tiny white balls, so it’s best to either do it in the shed or garage so that they don’t spread around the garden and then quickly tidy up the residual or, if you can, try to break them up inside a large bin liner.