Asked on May 23, 2019

How bad is it to use colored advertising circulars for weed control?

EllisBy Brittany GoldwynWilliam


I would use newspaper for weed control in my flower beds, but I need them to use under litter boxes. So, is it bad for the soil or environment to use those slick colored advertising circulars that come with the newspaper? We live in the country and have a lot of birds, insects, plus a cat and dog.

4 answers
  • Mogie
    on May 23, 2019

    Brochures and colored flyers do not have to disclose what inks are used to print them. So the ink used degrades slowly and is leached into the soil. I would error on the side of caution here. But I have used seen people use even big dog food bags cut open as a form of weed control. They used those in areas where there wasn't anything growing (like along a walkway surrounded by gravel).

  • William
    on May 23, 2019

    The colored inks in newspapers are petroleum based. May leach into the soil but it would be minimal. The black ink is vegetable based. Newspapers take forever to break down and decompose. Back around 1990 a landfill was investigated on the decomposing process. The investigators were surprised to find newspapers from the 1951 still in good readable condition.

  • By Brittany Goldwyn
    on May 23, 2019

    Check out this article.

  • Ellis
    on May 26, 2019

    Have you tried plain brown paper bags, or the brown paper used for packaging items to be shipped?

    • Linnea
      on May 26, 2019

      Thanks for replying, Ellis. That's a good suggestion. I will give it a try

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