As of 1st January 2020, Modiform will refuse orders for black thermoformed plant pots in the UK. Modiform takes the bold step to offer a recyclable alternative to black pots at the same price. Grey is the new black, according to Modiform. This ‘battleship grey’ pot contains 100% recycled plastic (PP) and is fully recyclable. This pot will take away any objection to change from an unrecyclable plant pot to a recyclable one. These grey pots will be available in all thermoformed sizes to allow growers to have a seamless switch.
Shaun Herdsman (Modiform Division Manager): “After thorough research into the home recycling system it was evident that black plant pots never get recycled. The industry came up with the taupe initiative, but it made the pots up to 40% more expensive so growers had objections to change. We are now offering a recyclable grey pot at the same price as black. Not only that, our UK team have agreed that we won’t accept any orders for thermoformed black pots after this year. We don’t want to supply anything that doesn’t at least have a chance of being recycled.”
Currently, all black plastic gets landfilled, burnt or shipped off to other countries where it may end up in the oceans. Any type of black plastic will be rejected in UK household recycling centres. The infrared scanners which identify the polymer type can’t see black. Recyclers are looking for PET, PP and HDPE. They can’t see black and they don’t want PS. Plant pots are made from PP, but the majority of plant pots are black. Usually, alternative colours to black are much more expensive, so there is still a lot of black plastic packaging around.
Modiform have already changed their bedding pack material to transparent green PET because polystyrene will not get recycled in the UK. The logical next step was to tackle the black plant pots. Modiform have conducted tests on the battleship grey pots in the existing home recycling system and have had a great success rate. Modiform advises customers to get their orders in early because they are forecasting a high demand. Peter Wessel (Modiform UK Sales Manager): “We are expecting to be very busy over the next year, helping growers to make the change. It’s an easy decision, same pots, same price, just a different colour. It will save thousands of tonnes of plastic from going to landfill.”