Monday, 24 March 2008

BBC promotes Plant Pot Recycling

I've just been listening to BBC Breakfast's item on plastic plant pots, which have been described as the "carrier bags of the gardening industry" and quite right too.

Apparently 500 million plant pots are made every year, most of which are sent to landfill.

But at last, the gardening sector is waking up to the value of recycling them. What I wonder is why it has taken them so long.

I don't know about you, but it's something that we can't put in our kerbside collection in St Edmundsbury. However we can take them to our local amenity centre. I'm not sure quite sure what happens to them after that, but it doesn't look like they get recycled.

The great news is that it appears that help is now at hand. According to the report on this morning's BBC Breakfast, a number of Wyevale garden centres are offering to take them off your hands later this year. So if you are busy planting your new plants over Spring, don't throw away your plant pots, but take them back to your local participating garden centre in May, together with your seedling trays and they will send them off for recycling.

Please check to ensure that your local Wyevale is getting involved. If there isn't one near you, you could always pester other garden centres to do the there's an idea!

Alternatively, you can just keep them at home and grow your own moss (chuckle), but that's not the most useful method of recycling. We also use them in the children's sand pit, junk modelling activities or good old hats for teddy bears. Of course if you haven't got kids, you could always put them up for re-use on your local Freecycle site.



Karin said...

Quite a lot are in and around our shed. I've been loathe to bin them but haven't been able to reuse many, so I've accumulated a lot over the last 5-10 years. I was told it isn't really worth the effort to recycle them, but if this is now happening that's good news. I'm not sure we have a Wyevale nursery near here, but I'll check.

Chantelle said...

Good news, but why must they be recycled, why cant the garden centres re-use them? Wouldnt it be really lovely though if we went back to teracotta pots, and always re-used them


Hi Karin - looks like you'll have to get on down with your wheelbarrow. If you don't have a Wyevale centre, try and encourage your local garden centre to take them. You never know. ;-D

Hi Chantelle - thanks for popping by. I know what you mean, it does seem ludicrous to recycle if they could just re-use them. I brought this up with a local garden centre a couple of years ago and they muttered something about their company needing standardised plant pots for their product range. I have since despaired, so at least this is a start. As for terracotta ones, don't you just love them and I don't even care about the state of them, whether there's moss or marks. They're lovely. No doubt someone will reveal that there's probably an eco-problem resulting from their production. Love the photo of the bus by the way. ;-D

Karin said...

I understand that one problem with garden centres reusing the pots is that it would involve a lot of effort to sterilise them as they have to be bug-free.

I'm not sure of all the drawbacks of terra cotta, but it does tend to break more easily.


Hi Karin - ahhh, of course that makes sense about sterilisation. I suppose what they need is a sterilisation unit...I wonder if that's more expensive than recycling.

gemma_anslow said...

Try your local market for people selling plants & herbs - they'll probably take your unwanted pots, ours do in Saffron Walden.


Thanks Gemma for that top tip. Very useful. Thanks for stopping by.

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