The plant industry – gardeners included – has become dependent on plastic. But most of the plastic used by the industry is not recyclable, so until the powers that be come up with either a method for recycling or reusing, it’s up to you, me, and everyone else who gardens to act individually. If truly concerned about cutting landfill waste, we must begin to view plastic pots as a must-reuse resource.
I noted earlier that a local garden center provides a bin for area gardeners to dump their no longer needed plastic pots. These pots, once sorted, either end up in the waste stream (if not reusable) or return to use at the garden center or with local garden organizations. Nancy, at Ballek’s Garden Center explained there is no recycling market for the bulk of plastic used for planter pots. My limited research shows the same … and this problem is not new – read this 1993 article.
So, until a ‘greener’ alternative arrives on the landscape, perhaps we all can
- Be discerning in our purchases by purchasing plants in reusable containers,
- Wash and reuse the plastic we have, and
- Urge more garden centers to collect, wash, and reuse plastic at their locations.
Any other ideas?