Back Paddock Garden Published by Steve Fox Hello there folks I am just wanting to remind folks that you can return any plastic plant pots back to us after you have put your plants in up at home. Thank you to those that have done so. It is a worthwhile thing to do to reduce our plastic use at Back Paddock.
In the last 4 weeks, I have sorted, cleaned, and reused roughly 800 pots and seedling trays. It takes time but it reduces landfill I hope to some degree. I have been trying to get some stats on the volume used in New Zealand but haven't found any concrete on the subject, but I imagine it would be substantial. I did read that Britain goes through 500 million nursery pots each year. Somebody may know in the community about our stats. From what I can gather the problem seem to be on several fronts, one being the chemical makeup to the pots which appears to be 3 types, and all are processed differently so can not be mixed' secondly, the colour black is not detectable by modern recycling scanners which sort out the different colours by light. The colour black does not reflect light so cannot be sorted. This obviously would apply to large scale recycling depots. Also, black cannot be added to other colours to turn into new products. Further points I found, was the stacking issues when sorting the pots out, there are simply too many different styles and shapes to stack neatly, Unclean pots cause machinery maintenance problems with dirty contaminated pots quickly dulling out shredding blades quickly. Supply and demand for recycled plastics have a bearing as well. China seemed to take a large volume of plastics to recycle until recently to produce other products and appears to be only accepting certain types now. There is certainly more to the subject of recycling these garden pots than I realised. If anyone has anything to add or comment on the subject that would be great. Again just a novice look at the matter, regards Steve