UK: The progress with recyclable pots

The latest meeting of the Nursery Working Group (which took place at Horticulture House on 6 June) demonstrated the substantial progress made by the industry towards the adoption of kerbside recyclable non-black plant pots.

Growers attending the meeting reported that they have all moved away from using black pots and have either switched all production to non-black recyclable pots or are on track to do so for 2020.

There have been no reports of any issues with growing in the recyclable replacements and they have been well received by customers and consumers alike.

The Nursery Working Group was established following last year’s National Plant Show where growers recognised the need to come together to start tackling the issue around black plastic pots which are not recyclable from the kerbside. Following discussions with pot manufacturers the move was made to grow in a recyclable, carbon black pigment-free polypropylene pot, with the taupe pot being adopted as the industry standard colour.

The Group and the HTA have been working with RECOUP (RECycling of Used Plastics Limited) and LARAC (Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee) on developing a strategy to move the initiative forward by liaising with reprocessing facilities and Local Authorities.

Chair of the Nursery Working Group, David Chilvers from The Bransford Webbs Plant Company comments, “It is quite incredible to see how much progress has been made since last year’s National Plant Show and really encouraging to see businesses coming together to make a change for the greater good of the industry.”

He adds, “The work is far from complete and we are eager to keep the momentum going with the next phase focussing on working with materials re-processors and local authorities to ensure that the pots are collected and recycled. The new pots are really starting to make an impact in garden centre plant areas, and it will be interesting to see how this is reflected by exhibitors at the National Plant Show next week. Further information and messaging will be available to visitors and exhibitors at the show.”

HTA Policy Executive Sally Cullimore will be presenting an update on plastics in horticulture in two seminar sessions at the HTA National Plant Show on 18/19 June and there will also be a recyclable pot feature area where further information will be available.

Nursery Working Group members include: Allensmore Nurseries, Binstead Nurseries, Darby Nursery Stock, Double H Nurseries, Farplants Group, Hillier Nurseries, Hills Plants, Johnsons of Whixley, Lovania Nurseries, New Leaf Plants, Porters Fuchsias, The Bransford Webbs Plant Company and Wyevale Nurseries.

Any growers wanting to find out more about the Nursery Working Group should contact Sally Cullimore, HTA Policy Executive on 01235 776196 or

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