For the last three years or so I've been happily growing my shallots and leeks in my homemade recycled polystyrene broccoli box wicking beds.
Using polystyrene broccoli boxes for my home made solar food dehydrator
Using polystyrene vegetable boxes (the ones with the drainage slits) filled with homemade compost to grow some green leafy veg.
Then I found the chooks and duck eating holes in the polystyrene veg boxes that they had access to.
This just didn't seem a good food source for them so I removed the vegetable boxes completely moving the green leafy veg to the Aldi above ground beds I purchased last year.
The polystyrene broccoli wicking beds I moved to a tabletop out of reach of the chickens and they kept producing my shallots and leeks.
Recently I was away for a while and the shallots and leeks had died off during my absence.
I've just been thinking about replacing them after refreshing the soil when I realised how powdery the boxes had become and one had popped a polystyrene pellet or two from down at the water reservoir level and it was leaking.
The thought came to me, I wonder how safe these are.
I searched the internet and came up with some great info including the following excerpt..
From the blog
"The biggest problem with styrofoam is pollution, as the foam contains polyethylene, which out-gasses ethylene gas. This smells like ripening fruit and it will entice animals and birds to ingest the foam. The styrofoam breaks down over time into beads and like any plastic product, these are persistent for a very long time in the environment."
Which helps me with why my chooks and duck were attracted to the stuff but I needed some science to backup the comment so I went searching for more 'science' and became hopelessly confused and lost.
Has anyone done any research that they can share in layman's language with me?
I'm at the stage where I'm not going to use the polystyrene boxes for growing beds anymore, but this is a personal preference not one I can backup with published argument.