Sowing the seeds for a plastic revolution

SO last week myself and Karl Heggarty - our horticultural sales manager - travelled to the IMP 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.

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING

Sirane makes its theatrical debut.... kind of

Our anti-slip absorbent floor mats meant the show could go on...

SO, last week Sirane took to the stage. You wouldn't have known we were there, yet played a vital part. We helped a play set in the First World War go on..... because as you all know, the play must go on. And the product that made its theatrical bow was a product designed for use in operating theatres - yet was used in a scene set in a kitchen in Accrington. Intrigued?...... Read on.

My wife, Anna, is a keen thespian. She's heavily involved with a local amateur dramatics group (The LADS, based on the Shropshire/Welsh border for anyone interested). She's so heavily involved that I have also become involved by default, joining their committee as marketing guru. I'm not sure I had a choice but it kind of made sense as I was regularly being asked to do it anyway.

Anway, last week they were performing Accrington Pals. The play, which was performed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, is about a 'Pals Brigade' formed in the Lancashire town and sent to fight in the trenches, and about the families left at home desperately waiting for news. Spoiler alert..... it doesn't end particularly well for them. 

One scene, set in an Accrington kitchen, involves one of the characters taking a bath... and on set they had an old tin bath from the period. The only problem was, and to be fair the bath was nearly a century old, it didn't hold water. Luckily Anna does evidently listen occasionally when I discuss my job, as she struck upon the bright idea of using our anti-slip absorbent floor mats, designed for use in operating theatres, in the bottom of the bath. The logic was that a) it would be okay for the actor to sit/lie on, in fact more comfortable than a cold tin bath, and that b) it would remove any risk of the stage becoming wet and dangerous.

Obviously they could have had the bath empty and pretended.... but they wanted to make it look real, and wanted to have water poured over the actor in question. Apparently in the dress rehearsal they were tentatively pouring some water over, hoping it would be absorbed, and by the final night, safe in the knowledge that it did genuinely hold 3L per square metre, were properly tipping buckets over the poor lad's head...  

So, it may the most unusual use to date of our anti-slip absorbent floor mats, but we were certainly more than happy to help.

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING

  • Award-winning plastic-free packaging solution, the Earthpouch

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  • Oven/BBQ cooking bags - Sira-Cook Supreme

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  • Absorbent meat pads - Dri-Fresh

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  • Oven/microwave steam-cooking bags - Sira-Cook Self-Seal

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  • Pouches for food packaging - retort pouches

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  • Absorbent pads for wet-cheeses - Dri-Fresh Fresh-Hold

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  • Deli-bags for keeping food fresh - Sira-Flex Deli-Bags

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  • Multi-compartment microwave steam-cooking bags - Sira-Cook Smart-Release

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  • Pouches for food packaging - flat and side-gusset pouches

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  • Nylon oven-roasting bags and films - Sira-Cook Siralon

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  • Absorbent fish/seafood crate liners - Dri-Fresh Sea-Fresh SP

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  • Absorbent oven-grill liners - Dri-Fresh Fat-Traps

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  • Thinking-Cooking - Sirane's own retail range

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    Sirane's divisions - food packaging, medical, horticultural and industrial

    Sirane Ltd. Stafford Park 6, Telford, Shropshire, TF3 3AT. Telephone +44 (0)1952 230055