You may have watched last week’s episode of Gardeners’ World which highlighted the difficulties of dealing with the use of plastic in the horticulture industry today.
Our Plantaria Manager, Diane Harrison, who regularly appears as a guest on Radio Lancashire, was interviewed by GW presenter Arit Anderson at Avant Garden Centre on the subject of the demand for recycling in the industry. You can see some footage on the Gardeners’ World website or iPlayer for the episode aired on Friday 21 September 2018, the following link will allow you to see the footage until 22nd October 2018: https://bbc.in/2Ny86g9
Even as a small garden centre, we sell an estimated 40,000 plus plants potted in plastic per annum, with a large number of these being transported by our suppliers in plastic in the form of trays, so times that by hundreds of garden centres in the UK just like us and it doesn’t take much to work out the scale of the problem faced by the horticulture industry today. That’s exactly why Monty Don and his team have homed in on the issue.
Our customers regularly ask what they can do with their discarded plastic pots and in the past we have either taken them to re-use elsewhere or we have encouraged them to use the kerbside recycling offered by the council in certain areas. The ones we have taken back we have offered to others to re-use in our “Free to a good home” area but this only goes a tiny way to solving the problem of the growing plastic waste in gardening.
With the increased media attention on single use plastics, the Horticultural Trade Association along with larger growers and garden centres have been collaborating to attempt to find a solution to the problem of plastic recycling. They have been looking for a recyclable alternative to the traditional black plastic pots that near infrared recycling equipment struggle to detect.
The latest trials involve using a taupe coloured, carbon black pigment-free polypropylene that can be identified by recycling machines, making kerbside collection by your local council potentially viable in future. The aim is for such new pots to be phased in over the next season.
The industry’s commitment to the problem is immense and we hope our customers will embrace the new pots and all everyone involved efforts to tackle such a large problem.