Forum home Tools and techniques

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



  • greenlovegreenlove Posts: 164
    edited November 2018

    Havent been visiting the forum for a while so have missed this thread until now. I am also very keen on reduction of plastics and feel that 99% of the pastic used in the supermarket can easily be replaced by greener alternatives. For example: there is no need to have isles full of meat wrapped in plastic. Supermarkets can make the butcher's corner, larger. The fruit and veg doesnt need to be wrapped in plastic at all. They can just be placed in large trays and sold by the kilo. Exceptions such as fruits of the forest that are delicate can be sold in corrugated cardboard with a thin plastic film cover.

    As for garden pots i feel that, certainly the plants sold in garden centres and shops can be in biodegradable pots. And instead of empty plastic pots garden centres can sell metal pots. I'm sure they can be produced for just as cheap.

  • There is a good alternative to the polystyrene trays that bedding plants such as pansy come in. I don't know if it would withstand the industrial plug plant machine but would cut down on plastics in the garden center. Mushroom Mycelium can be mixed with various waste products such as straw or the chaff from wheat, pushed into a mould for a couple of days after which it is dried to stop the mushrooms forming or sporing. Once the plants are out, the packaging can be put straight on the compost heap. This packaging can be used for endless products not just garden related. The technology is catching up for us to use less plastic but unless we push for change by hitting the manufactures and growers in their pocket by choosing not to buy plastic potted plants it will be a very slow process.

    Last year I grew all my annuals from seed to avoid the plastic and will be doing the same this year. I container garden and due to cost restraints at the time when I started I bought large plastic outdoor pots which I will replace with alternatives when they have fallen to bits and been recycled.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,893
    When I accumulated extra pots, (somehow people like to give them to me!) I piled them up and put them on the verge outside the house with a card saying ‘please take’ someone took them, so at least they will be reused.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BlackamoorviewBlackamoorview sheffieldPosts: 6
    As the manager of a small nursery I have worried about the problem of waste plastic for many years. We try to reuse as many pots and base trays as possible but they are a) not made to last and disintegrate relatively quickly and b) our products need to be uniform and all in the same size pots to sell at market.
    I always allow our customers to bring back their used pots although we are invariably left with multicoloured and mismatched pots often printed with the name of another garden centre.
    I really believe if the horticultural industry could standardise pot size and colour and base tray size, also improve the quality of the plastic used, then they can be reused throughout any nursery or garden centre saving tonnes of waste plastic and lasting for years. There could even be a deposit on pots to encourage customers to bring them back.
    Removing the pot at the time of purchase is fine and a good idea but many nurseries have to survive by selling the majority of its plants through wholesale markets.
  • BlackamoorviewBlackamoorview sheffieldPosts: 6

    Lets say that not using plastic costs 10% Garden centres would have to pass this on of course. During my time all sorts of other price rises have been passed on and a decent plant now costs £10, would we pay 11? Yes we would - everything goes up in price all the time, we are used to it. 

    I would like to think that we would be prepared to pay more but I very much doubt that. 
    I have worked in a nursery for the last 18 years and the price for a pack of bedding plants is exactly the same today as it was on my first day! If we were to put the price up our customers can find many supermarkets and DIY stored selling them cheaper and I can't see them bothering to try and reuse the plastic cell trays like we do.
    The issue of waste plastics has to be dealt with by the producers of the pots etc by standardisation but as a large proportion of pot plants are imported and are odd sizes or colours this will be almost impossible.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,893
    My son has just starting to get into gardening this year,  he wants to grow tomatoes in big pots so wen5 to the local GC where they were a ridiculous price so left them.
    I suggested he went to Morrison or tesco who sell their flower buckets about 5 for a pound.
    He delivers to M&S in Cornwall so thought he’d asked the chap he knew there.
    ‘they all go into the skip for dumping’ he said, M&S too posh to sell them off cheap that’s only for tesco type shops! 

    He did say he would try and smuggle some out for David if he could. 
    As the previous poster says, not a lot we can do about any of it. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364
    ZeroZero1 said:
    We need to ban ALL unecessary plastics. This is very important for our children
    Ironically one of the hardest times to avoid unecessary plastic is when you have children. The kiddy paraphernalia market is flooded with the stuff. You can avoid some of it but it's expensive at a time when you're spending a lot of money anyway and it takes more of your time to prep your own baby food and wash nappies when you have less free time to spend on stuff like that.
    When my children were small all we had that really worked was terry toweling . (1979.) They still work  and most of us have washing machines. They did work,  this was before people were really aware  of how much plastic we were using. I can understand how much easier to use they are. 

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    @Lyn Our local Morrys used to sell them taped together in tens for 89p. I used to buy the widest slightly shorter ones. Late last year I tried to buy some more, they have now started to use white or nearly clear ones,  I asked at customer services they would not sell them to me. Though to be honest I don't fancy the white ones.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,893
    Oh that’s a shame, they are really useful, although, I would never use black pots for plants in the summer, I never use them for spring/summer plants, but I do use them for spare tomato plants. 
    White ones sound good for fuchsia growing and recycling. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,893
    Anyone shop in Tesco’s,  their brown paper bags are very recyclable, I’ve made a seed tray and 4 pots for individual seeds from one bag, then all on the compost. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

Sign In or Register to comment.