Sustainable Plant Pots
Engage for Change
Like an ecosystem, interactions within THIS community will help sustain the “life” of the movement to slowing production of 100% virgin plastic plant pots.
The American Gardener, American Horticultural Society, July/August, 2023
Encourage the Recycling of Plastic Pots
We understand that immediately ending the use of plastic pots is not possible. However, we can prevent the majority of plastic pots from entering landfills if we do a better job at getting pots to appropriate recyling centers.
Encourage the use of discarded pots for other purposes
Treating plastic pots as single use containers has lead to mountains of waste. Encouraging nurseries and consumers to see value in the pots and keep them for other projects can help keep some of this waste out of landfills.
Encourage the use of alternative materials for distributing plants
Ultimately, there is no reason to continue using plastic for plant pots when so many other materials are available including biodegradable plastic and other sustainable choices. Encouraging these practices will help reduce costs on these and make them more viable for the future.
Research I conducted in 2019 for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers about disposal of plastic plant pots revealed that the majority of plastic pots are disposed of in landfills. Being an environmental advocate who tries to responsibly attend to plastic recycling I’d go to my dump and in the course of a season throw about 200 pots into the plastic recycling bin. Deep dives have brought me to where I am today: a person looking for answers at a time when plastic pollution is front and center that poses dangers to wildlife, people and our waterways as they degrade. Closing the loop to do right by the environment I’ve gone about seeking answers from a number of stakeholders – HC Companies, with their fiber and bio based containers, East Jordan Plastics I would view as the largest recycler of hort material in the country (actually gets recycled – I’ve seen it), and Blackmore Companies reducing the amount of plastic used with their finished products. I am creating a collaboration to share what I’ve learned and to begin finding answers to what we can do moving forward.
The initiative Healthy Pots Healthy Planet (HPHP) was created by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers to raise awareness of the health concerns relating to petroleum-based plastic pots as well as seek the public’s support for sustainable materials. As a member of the HPHP Committee, I provide insight and factual information to help the initiative gain momentum.
Understanding the problem
White paper written my Marie Chieppo for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers
Percent of Plastic Pots that end up in landfills
Different types of plastic used in plant pots, which complicates recycling efforts
Nurseries in the US and Canada in 2018 (and growing)
Talks and Seminars
I cross the country speaking at large events like AmericanHort, Cultivate to small events like local gardening clubs. To make a difference, we all need to work together. Do you have an organization who would like to hear about this topic?
Speaking at Cultivate’23. Tom Marting (HC Companies far left) and John Keller (Monrovia)
Part of our education effort centers on engaging the media to share this story and spread awareness nationwide. We are submitting articles as well as making ourselves available for media interviews and inquiries. Please see a sample of our efforts.
Engage for Change
A lot of times, people want to do better, but don’t know how. I truly believe the answers will be found through community engagement and a continuing demand for products with smaller and smaller carbon footprints. Speak to your nurseries, share your concerns and repurpose what you can. I am hard work looking for answers.
How You Can Help
Ask your nursery or landscaper to use sustainable pots and/or participate in a quality recycling program.
Write your congressman, write an editorial to your paper, tell your friends. We need to get the word out that alternatives exist and we can do better.
Do you own a nursery or landscaping business? Join our Alliance to prevent plastic pots from getting to landfills.
Hours of Operation
M – F 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
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