Pots and trays: Are any biodegradable?

Martyn Davey, Head of Horticulture and Design, Easton College
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
11:46 AM

Question: At this time of year we are inundated with plastic flower pots and seed trays. I would like to know if they can be recycled or used again in some way. Can pots not be biodegradable? (G Oram, Beccles)

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Answer:

When planting out the regimental garden at Easton College I was surprised at how many trays and pots we ended up with. In fact, an estimated 500 million plastic plant pots are in circulation every year. One of the recycling issues with flower pots is the soil that is left in them – unlike milk cartons they tend not to be rinsed.

Notcutts offers a plastic pot recycling scheme at all 19 of its garden centres. It also recycles bedding plant trays, made of polystyrene – a service it believes to be unique. Notcutts garden centre on Daniels Road in Norwich are happy to take pots from domestic gardeners.

There has been much research into the possibility of producing a biodegradable pot (made from coir, for example). Some nurseries such as the Hairy Pot Plant Company sell plants exclusively in these.

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