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We don't need plastic pots - they need to be banned!



  • stewyfizzstewyfizz West BromwichPosts: 161
    Hostafan1 said:
    stewyfizz said:
    Perhaps we should start by putting 'Re-use or return' stickers on black pots. GC's and nurseries should be made to accept black pots back so they can be washed and re-used. Surely it would save them money long term? 
    Can you explain how that would "save them money long term"
    There's sorting at the garden centre,transportation costs,with the added road congestion/ pollution which goes along with it, sorting costs wherever they end up, water, presumably extra equipment/labour needed, and no doubt chemicals to wash the pots so they're clean enough to re-use, more sorting........
    At the end of the process it's the customer who has to cover these costs. Are they/ WE prepared to pay for it?
    It took me less than an hour last week to brush off and rinse 40+ plastic pots. That is all that is necessary to do in order to reuse those pots. I fail to see how a £8 an hour assistant spending a few hours every week doing this would be an issue. Why would the nursery have to transport them everywhere? Why do they need chemicals? They will be used for another plant, not to eat dinner off. Equipment? I managed perfectly well with a small brush and a bowl of hot water. Surely they would save money by not having to buy as many new pots?
    Gardening. The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,356
    edited September 2018
    For small nurseries that's fine @stewyfizz :)  ... but the majority of garden centres and places like B&Q etc don't grow their own plants ... they buy in hundreds/thousands of plants each week from huge industrial-sized plant producers producing tens of thousands of plants each week ... they are transported across Europe in huge articulated lorries ... we see them arriving at the local GC most days in the growing/selling season. 

    The growers use complex automated machinery to put up to 35,000 plug plants per hour into pots as here

     "... an £8 an hour assistant spending a few hours every week doing this would be an issue...." to wash and re-use pots just isn't viable ... or relevant for industrial sized producers. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • I reuse plastic pots when I take cuttings, or grow from seed, trays and pots made of plastic, which are getting less by the people I give plants to not returning, will have to ask for them to be returned
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,861
    When I started growing bedding plants, 50 years ago, I used wooden boxes that I used to scrounge off of the market. They had corner posts and could be stacked (Dutch tomato boxes mainly) If someone only wanted a few plants, they got them in newspaper, or they took a full box of two dozen.   Mum took over when I left home, and gradually ended up with plastic punnets. This was partly due to lack of wooden boxes any more, and people liked the single plugs that were easier to transplant.
    Larger plants were in plastic pots, but people used to bring mum old pots. We haven't bought any for years. If she gets too many of a size she doesn't use, she puts a free ad in the local paper, pots free  to a good home, "buyer" collects.
    If you don't grow any plants from seed, and only buy plants in, save them for someone who does. All my neighbours  know I take in any stray pots. I have a shed full. If you have too many, try a free ad on Gumtree or freecycle or other similar "free to post, free to good home" site.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,432
    It's still possible to buy bare root trees and roses in the winter, from specialist nurseries.  And our local garden centre still has shrubs and hedging for sale, freshly dug, with roots wrapped in hessian, in the autumn, and bundles of wallflowers in newspaper in the spring.
    The problem with plastic is its unthinking use as a disposable commodity.  My parents lived through WW2 and never threw away anything which could be used again, and that attitude was instilled into me - and also passed on by me to my children.  @wild edges said root trainers were single use.  Not so, if you open and close them carefully.  I've had mine for 15 years or so...  I also put capillary matting and horticultural fleece into the washing machine (fleece in a net bag).  That way it also lasts for years.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,356
    Sadly washing fleece (whether for gardens or clothing) results in microscopic pieces of plastic being washed into the sewers, through all the filters and into the rivers and oceans ..  where it’s swallowed by fish 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,432
    Oh poo...   :s
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    There’s a few fallacies in this thread I thought Id point out (in the hope of progressing the debate)

    1. You can change the industry without impacting the industry

    Its not true and it’s the wrong approach.  Everytime people approach a problem there are the people that want to keep everything the same except for the one change they make.  

    Switching from existing plastic pots will negatively impact the gardening industry.  

    This is fine, and as it should be.

    2. If you can’t fix everything, fix nothing

    A classic diversionary tactic. Meaningless because any reduction in plastic use has environmental benefit

    3. The problem is with gardeners/recyclers

    This is to utterly misconceive the plastics industry and scale of the environmental problem. Your neighbour not recycling is negligible, and it’s importance should be accordingly tiny.  Check out global plastics use for context before you clamour for outlawing non-recyclers. Which is not to contradict 2. but to remain proportionate.

    4. You either reject all plastic or accept all plastic

    Another classic, falsely making the problem an all or nothing debate.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,505
    I picked up a basil plant from the bargain bin at the supermarket today and was pleased to see it came in one of the new 'taupe' coloured pots. The question is now do I recycle the pot since I have tons of plastic pots or do I add it to the pile and use it as a pot rather than send it to be melted down to make an identical pot? Maybe I'll mark the date on this one and use it to see if the colour does make any difference to its lifespan or growing ability.
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
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