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Plant Pot Recycling Scheme

This spring will finally see the introduction of a nationwide plant pot recycling scheme. Launched by the Horticultural Trade Association (HTA) in partnership with renewable energy specialist Ecogen, the scheme will provide the infrastructure for garden centres nationwide to recycle pots and other various plastic plant carrying trays.

Garden centres across the country have found it increasingly difficult to find recyclers for their used plastic pots, with some big chain garden centres stopping their pot recycling services all together.

Cheap to produce and convenient for their purpose, the plastic plant pot is unfortunately the gardener's equivalent to the shopper's plastic carrier bag.

With approximately 500 million pots used each year in the UK alone, just like it’s carrier bag counter part, the plastic plant pot has become a huge waste issue. Aside from cluttering our garden sheds, the majority of plastic plant pots are sent directly to landfill, adding to the 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste already in existence.

Our oceans are becoming heavily littered with plastic which is killing all manner of sea creatures, fish and birds. Only last week new evidence emerged suggesting that much of our bottled water is also contaminated with microplastics.

With headlines like these every week, campaigns such as the plant pot recycling scheme are more important then ever.

Thankfully in last weeks Spring Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond outlined the Government's plans to cut the use of single-use plastics vowing to tackle the “threat to our oceans”.

In his statement the Chancellor called for a consultation, to examine the potential for a charge on numerous plastic items such as takeaway boxes, plastic plates and polystyrene packaging, building on the success of the recent plastic carrier bag charge.

A proposed nine-week consultation will look carefully at the entire supply chain for single-use plastics and examine ways to deliver renewable alternatives or improve recycling opportunities.

Hammond has also set aside £20 million for an innovation fund that will aim to help businesses and universities discover new solutions for tackling plastic waste.

Whilst none of these government proposals are necessarily the answer to what is clearly a huge global issue, they are undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Moving forward, we all need to do our bit to find the best solution, including the landscaping and gardening industry. Now, thanks to HTA plant pot recycling scheme, we are that little bit closer.