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Reuse - Recycle (Plant Pots!)

Did you know that black plastic is unable to be widely recycled in the UK and most local authorities do not want us to be putting black plastic into our household recycling bins.

Why is black plastic bad for the environment?

Most coloured and clear plastics are able to be recycled in the UK... except if it is black.

The majority of black plastic packaging, including black plant pots, contain carbon-black pigments which are undetectable by NIR (Near Infra-Red) Technologies which are used to sort through our general recycling. This means that black plastics commonly end up in landfill or being incinerated, having a negative effect on the environment.

What can we do?

As horticulturists, we know that although clear packaging is the most widely recycled plastic, our plants must be in opaque pots in order to protect their delicate roots from over exposed sunlight (even in England!). In previous years, almost all of our plant pots were made out of black plastic, therefore as an industry, we were significantly contributing to unnecessary landfill.

Over five years ago, we made the switch at our Little Hay Nursery to plant all our homegrown plants in the 'Taupe' plant pots. These are they grey/mushroom colour pots you will see around the garden centre.

Taupe plant pots have been specially made from carbon-black free polypropylene which can be easily identified by NIR technology and therefore can be recycled in your kerbside recycling bins.

At Pacific, we know that not all suppliers (especially plants from other countries) are grown in carbon-black free pots so here are a few ideas for you to re-use your black pots instead of throwing them away.

  • Reuse! - Clean out your pots and plant your own bedding flowers, fruit or vegetable plants in them

  • Spread plant food - the drainage holes in the bottom of plant pots make them a great tool for dispersing plant fertilisers around your beds and borders.

  • Protect plants when mulching - pop an upside down pot over your shrubs when mulching around the beds to avoid dumping the mulch and damaging the plants

  • Frost protection - turn the pot upside down over a plant when expecting a frost overnight and remove when the weather warms up

  • Repot your growing houseplants

  • Nesting Boxes - screw or nail to a tree, shed or post to make a sheltered nesting box for our garden birds

  • Arts and crafts - there are lots of craft activities you can use plant pots for!

We can also recycle your pots! Return any pots to us at the tills and we will reuse or recycle them for you.

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