Fake plants epitomise our awful plastic addiction

Are plastic plants a symbol of where we are going wrong in society?

Are plastic plants a symbol of where we are going wrong in society? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Have you noticed an increase in the number of plastic plants on sale in shops? Tom Bristow says there's something very wrong if people are buying them rather than the real thing

I've been having a bit of an environmental awakening recently. Probably too late I know but, hey, you've got to start trying to save the world at some point.

We've massively cut down on landfill at our home by shopping more wisely, using our food bin and going vegetarian on (most) weeknights.

Lots of us have been stirred into action by seeing images of the damage our plastic addiction is doing to our oceans and habitats, at a time when our environment is already on the ropes. But amid the country's anti-plastic awakening, one product seems to be bucking the trend – plastic plants. They're everywhere at the moment. Go to the top floor of M&S in Norwich and you can see a firm which proudly boasts it's going carbon-neutral selling row after row of fake nature which will take hundreds of years to decompose.

Ikea, too, has also decided to dedicate an area of its small Norwich store to plastic plants.

I've also seen them draped around the outside of a restaurant and shop in centre of Norwich.

Why do I find this so depressing? Well, after destroying nature, we're now trying to recreate it with products which will destroy it further.

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Why do we need plastic plants when the real things are readily available, cheap, give us clean air, brighten our moods and can even hide those unpleasant wafts?

I'm not going to call them pointless, because that implies they're harmless – but there is absolutely no reason to buy plastic plants. Hopefully the trend will disappear as quickly as it came, but I fear it won't.

Look at fake lawns. They have boomed in the last few years because climate change has made growing real, thirsty lawns harder. There are nine different types of plastic lawns for sale on the B&Q website. Not only do they offer none of the environmental benefits of a real lawn, they are doing damage. Our gardens need to be a place of refuge for wildlife, not a plastic death trap.