Composting cardboard

Question ...

Can you please advise whether it is safe to add all types of cardboard to compost heaps. I always add non-coloured egg boxes, toilet rolls and kitchen rolls but I am unsure whether I should add other cardboard (i.e food packaging - because of the chemicals and inks used in the colouring). Does this remain in the end result of compost? Can you please advise.

Answer ...

It is quite safe to include cardboard such as cereal packets etc. The inks used these days no longer contain the harmful heavy metals that used to be a problem. Due to economic reasons the industry has converted to vegetable-based inks. The only material we do not recommend in an organic garden is the fire-proof cardboard, as this does contain certain pollutants.

If you would like further advice on your organic growing, why not become a member of Garden Organic? It costs as little as £2.75 a month, and not only gives you full access to our advisory service, but also free or discounted entrance to many gardens across the UK. Call 02476 308210 or email