Sowing the seeds for a plastic revolution

SO last week myself and Karl Heggarty – our horticultural sales manager – travelled to the IPM Essen show. For anyone not familiar, it’s a large horticultural/flower show held there every year. Sirane has a range of horticultural products, and has had them for a while. but for various reasons they’ve never taken off big style. 

However, recent changes in various laws across Europe – as well as in public perception – are making huge differences in the world of plastic. And if there’s one industry where you see a lof of plastic, it’s in horticulture. Plastic plant pots, plastic trays, plastic flowers… this for us was a fact-finding mission. Is this a problem? If so, what’s being done about it?

I think it’s fair to say we learnt a lot on the trip. Not all plastic-related – I can confirm, for example, that a restaurant in central Essen sells what must surely be the world’s biggest pizzas. They weren’t even listed as large on the menu…. we just ordered pizza and out came these dustbin lids with cheese on top. Incredible stuff… but also we learnt that, and I quote ‘horticulture is miles behind’. The prevailing attitude was ‘yes, it’s a problem, but what do we do about it? We need to use plant pots’. It’s all so automated, all so traditional, it’s just always been done like that…

We learnt that Guernsey provides 25% of the world’s clematis supply (who knew?) and that Poland provides much of the rest, we learnt that the Germans really don’t do a healthy lunch, and we learnt a bit more about Kaiser Wilhelm I (there’s a statue in Essen – is their one in every German city?). And we learnt that compostable plant pots could be the next big thing…

Sirane offers compostable plant pots – we’ve offered them for a while, but now there are definitely people within the industry willing to look and see whether it could work. Whether they’re willing to change, is still an unknown quantity… as with everything like this, it’ll come down to pennies. Or whether the public force their hand.


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