Old newspapers...are they really okay to use?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by sancha, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. sancha

    sancha Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just wanted some thoughts on this. Is the ink used in the printing of newspapers toxic or is it okay to use them as sheet mulch/weed control/compost additives? I've certainly used newspapers in the past but now that I think about it I'm not sure that the ink on them is all that good for soil health. Am I right in thinking this or should I ignore it and just use them?
     
  2. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was researching this only a couple of days ago.

    Some site I found says that the ink used on the matt pages is soy based and biodegradable. The glossy pages use a different type of ink (petroleum-based ink).

    I'm planning on using a few centimeters of shredded newspaper for mulch next time round, with wood bark on top to make it look better and stop the paper blowing away before it breaks down.
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    g'day sancha,

    go for it sue the coloured stuff and all, we have never had any problems, found the worms seem to go for the glossy stuff first.

    also about 8 years ago talked to a chemist from an ink manufacturer, and he said then that petrolium based inks where on the way out as soy and organic coloured inks where a whole lot cheaper to make. he also said that an a4 sheet of paper with edge to edge colour the ink would not weigh 2% of the total weight of ink and paper. he also said they could then get brilliant colour from vege and mineral colours.

    len :D
     
  4. marley

    marley Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Funny..I was just about to post a question about this same topic..

    I use a lot of newspaper in sheetmulching and in composting. The safest thing is to call the newspaper company and ask about their inks.
     
  5. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I forgot to mention. We use heaps of shredded newspaper in our worm bedding. I've noticed they often go for the newspaper before they get into the food scraps (fine chopped).
     
  6. sancha

    sancha Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for all the advice. I'll be out there tomorrow with my stack of papers.
     

Share This Page

-->