A blight?

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?



Filed under Gardening, General, Techniques, Tools

2 responses to “A blight?

  1. Very good point. There’s a tremendous amount of plastic used to grow and sell plants. My potting shed is a reflection of that – piled to the rafters with used plastic pots! But I’ve found that they come in handy when giving plants to friends (as do used plastic bags), and when I moved cross-country I dug up my most prized plants, stuck them in pots, rented a trailer, and brought them out to Connecticut safely housed in pots of the appropriate size (which was a good thing because they ended up with various “babysitters” for months until I found the right house to buy).

  2. joenesgarden

    I, too save extra plastic pots so I can distribute plants to friends and neighbors … and I frequently house transplants in extra pots until I find the plants a new home. Still, the more gardeners ask about recycling programs, and the more garden centers and big-box stores push for the same, the more insentive pot manufacturers will have to develop more eco-friendly pots. I never underestimate the power of a grass-roots movement and recycling must begin at home!

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