HORTICULTURAL: Compostable plant pots could solve issues surrounding recyclability

Compostable plant pots from Sirane

ISSUES surrounding the recycling of plant pots have hit the news recently – but Sirane can offer a solution that solves the issue easily… compostable plant pots.

A recent survey by Horticulture Week revealed that 87% of the local authorities questioned do not recycle plant pots – meaning millions end up in landfill.

The results left industry figures demanding the government issues guidance to councils telling them to recycle the pots – currently done by just nine councils. But Sirane’s compostable plant pots could be an alternative solution.

Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “Sirane’s compostable plant pot range is a great alternative to plastic – and of course removes the issue over the question of recycling the pot, the whole thing can just be planted in the ground.

“As the walls of the compostable plant pot will store and hold some water, the pots will actually help and protect the plants during the first few weeks. They also help protect plants from root damage, as the roots needn’t be disturbed.

“We can make in a range of different sizes, and we will soon be releasing retail packs to the market, which will be sold under our popular Sow & Grow brand.”

According to Horticulture Week some councils say householders must take plant pots to recycling centres to be recycled, while others say they cannot be recycled at all and should go to landfill. Many councils say there is no demand from recyclers for plant pot plastic, despite saying they collect other pots, tubs and trays for recycling.

Meanwhile, Government recycling agency WRAP is advising gardeners to put plant pots in their recycling even though Horticulture Week says councils say they do not want them and will filter them out and put them into landfill.

The advice from WRAP comes after the horticulture industry introduced taupe-coloured (non-black) plant pots that are detectable by recycling machines which won’t pick up the black but even these may not be recycled by many councils.

Industry figures met at the Cultivating Retail conference in Nottingham recently and collectively agreed government and councils need to step up their game.

The five-member panel of suppliers, growers and retailers agreed kerbside recycling is the way forward rather than driving to a recycling centre or growers taking trays back and that collaboration was essential in reducing plastic waste. Education of consumers is vital too. Keeping plastic out of the wider environment is paramount.

Simon Balderson added: “I agree wholeheartedly that keeping plastic out of the wider environment is paramount, and with plant pots there are alternatives. Our compostable plant pots are one of many different ‘green’ solutions.

“While clearly the guidance from government should be more joined up, perhaps the industry should be also taking a closer look at alternatives to plastic.”

The Sow & Grow compostable plant pots form part of our Earth Packaging range – a range of products which are all either compostable, sustainable or easily recyclable. We also offer compostable films and pouches, pads and more.

For more information, contact our horticultural packaging specialist, Karl Heggarty, on karl.keggarty@sirane.com

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