Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Plastic Plant Pot Challenge

Let’s have a little fun today with a growing problem. This initial modest posting is also going to grow and grow throughout the day… just as the towers of unused plastic plant pots do in our sheds, greenhouses, garages and various undisclosed parts of our gardens.


Once the research begins, in a challenge such as this, it can very quickly become addictive! Increasing numbers of tabs open new searches on the desktop and you’re visiting all around the world. The obvious searches I began with have lead me all the way back to my own shed… what fun this has been :-D

It's just past midnight as I post this (early for me of late) but just in case any other bloggers wish to join me I thought I'd kick this off now. So to the big question... do you know anywhere that reuses or recycles plastic plant pots?

Mr Linky is below for any postings or links you may wish to share. I've collected quite a few myself already, lots of ideas too and very much look forward to sharing them tomorrow. See you then :-D

Hello again… let’s start of this marathon! My first thoughts were to collect a list of places that recycle plastic plant pots roughly in my own area here in Scotland… mainly to garden centres I have visited. Last week, I chatted both by email and phone.

Based on this chat it I came across Stan at Growforth who is trialling a scheme in Scotland which, he tells me, needs to be a sustainable service to work. I'd like to wish you, and all the centres involved, every success with this Stan :-)

Stan made an excellent point too “We have found that as a consequence of having a high profile “bin” for pots that some customers are helping themselves which is great. So we have contacted our customers to suggest signage encouraging their customers to help themselves!”

At present, Stan is trialling this with New Hopetoun Gardens where Dougal told me “We have been looking to recycle pots for many years but opportunities have come and gone.” Growforth is using a good spread of size and type of centre including Merryhatton Garden Centre, Blacketyside Garden Centre and Highland Liliums. Links can be found to all centres below. The bin shown above was sited on leaving a Dobbies store.


Reuse is the absolute best way to recycle plastic plant pots in my book. My thanks go members of the BBC Message Board for their ideas on this and their links to garden centres operating recycling schemes in their local areas (listed below).


Top of the list for me on the re-use of pots must be growing on new plants through seed, cuttings and division in them to pass on to family and friends.

Using up pots for selling plants at local fetes, charities etc is brilliant too. Ah… but I loved this story shared by Nan on the message board: “There is an old chap who regularly has a plant stall at our local boot sale - his plants are really good and every so often I take him a bin liner full of pots and plastic trays.” That’s a thought now too, as is asking any garden clubs, schools or small nurseries (for plants or children) if they would like your surplus plastic pots.


Children could have great fun with used plastic plant pots like redecorating the outside in a variety of ways as gifts for Mums/Dads Grandparents… perhaps even planting bulbs in them.

Thinking on the coloured type they could use them as pencil pots (smaller than the one shown), cones for obstacle courses and homes for wildlife. Hey… how about a large paper mache balloon, thin wire and a soft toy or two to make a store for teddies! Oops… I’m getting carried away here now.

For the bigger kids (golfers ;-) perhaps turned on their side a variety of sizes could be used (based on skill level) to putt golf balls into! This is just one many excellent ideas for reuse in the posting by Colleen on 25 ways… listed in the link list below.




16 comments:

VP said...

Fantastic Shirl - this challenge is a real winner. I'll come back later and have a proper look round!

Have a great day!

shirl said...

Hi again VP, thanks so much for joining me with this :-D

A brilliant contribution with all that I asked for. My post itself isn’t complete as I thought I’d make it an ongoing one throughout the day… thought it might be fun for a change :-D

BTW that's a great tip for growing garlic:-D

ShySongbird said...

Very good luck with this Shirl, as I mentioned on your first post about this subject most of my pots went into the recycling bin when we replaced the shed earlier this year. I sense this challenge/campaign could run and run, I wish you great success with a very imaginative idea :)

PS: I also left a late comment on your 'Back to the Wild Side' post.

patientgardener said...

Am on holiday in n.wales at the moment watching torrential rain so catching up on blog reading! Woud contribute to this but I am pretty sure there are no pot recycling in my area. I do reuse all my pots until they break.
Thought of you as we have bird feeders outside the cottage window which are covered in blue tits also have squirrel who taps on window each morning for his breakfast

Liz said...

Great idea Shirl :)

I don't know of anywhere locally that recycles I'm afraid and I didn't notice anything at our local Dobbies. I'm sure there must be places though, I know B&Q has recycle bins I'm unsure if there are plastic ones though.

I re-use all my own pots though for various things, but they are breeding far faster than I'm throwing them away when they're broken...

The next trip to Dobbies (when I will not buy anything, no no no, honest!) I'll take some along and ask if I can recycle them.

Anna said...

I have put a link to the Plastic Pot Challenge on my blog Shirl. I find homes for my pots either in the greenhouse, allotment or for various plant sales. I used to sell plants at our local Country Market
(formerly WI Market) and I know that the producers there would welcome used pots, likewise local allotments. Himself has found an innovative use for old pots which you can see on my blog :) I will have to ask about recycling facilities on my next trip to the garden centre,

shirl said...

Hi again Jan, thanks so much! Yes, I completely understand. Yes, indeed I do believe you are right although I have run out of steam for tonight!

I’ve added what will be a permanent link for this. Looking forward to adding more tomorrow but for tonight I think I’ll catch up on some fav blogs before trying to get a semi early night.

Thanks for your other comment too. Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

shirl said...

Hi there Helen, Gosh… blogging on hols! Impressive ;-) Funnily enough I’ve left the odd comment via my phone when away too :-D

I’m guessing your squirrel is a grey one. Funnily enough, I was thinking of you the day the GSCE results came out. Delighted to hear your son got on so well. Meant to leave a comment… actually maybe I did… too tired tonight sitting here!

At this moment looking at an image on screen from our hedgehog house that my daughter made. Guessing the hog won’t appear when I’m watching ;-)

From my very hazy memory tonight… did you not have a son passing a driving test recently too? Spookily, my eldest daughter also did today :-D Oh… when the car leaves the street….

Hope the rain is better tomorrow and you have a great holiday… enjoy meeting up with Karen too :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Liz, thanks, perhaps I’ll uncover a centre near you to save you having the torment of visiting Dobbies and leaving without a plant ;-)

I’ve still to hear back from local councils in a list WRAP emailed me. Distractions at home today slowed my progress (daughter passed driving test… Whoopee!!) but this is one that I see as an ongoing challenge and I will keep updating it. I’ve now added what will be a permanent link on my sidebar.

Yes, as gardeners we do reuse many pots anyway but the breeding programme is one that needs attention ;-)

shirl said...

Hi again Anna, thanks so much, I appreciate it and the huge mention for this in your posting. Email me if you want an image for your sidebar :-)

Glad you mentioned the allotment here as I plan to mention them in my ongoing posting too… Farmers Markets were another.

Great reuse by himself and if you do stumble across any garden centres that operate any type of recycling please do leave me a comment here and I’ll add their link to my list. Thanks... enjoy the rest of yuor week :-D

Frances said...

Hi Shirl, thanks for raising awareness about those pots that sometimes reproduce while we sleep! Finally our local recycle center is taking all types, or numbers of plastic. It makes life easy and we barely have any trash on garbage pick up day. Plastic was by far the most filling substance. We do keep some for sharing plants and other craft type projects. The larger ones are always kept, so many storage uses for them. :-)
Frances

shirl said...

Hi again Frances, thanks for stopping by :-)

Great to hear you have a system in place in your part of the US. I’ve noticed a few Botanical Gardens have special days too which is brilliant. Ah… storage uses for the larger ones… yes there are many. Enjoy your week :-D

Martyn & Jill said...

Great idea Shirl, our council does take them as part of the general recycling they do, but I've often wondered why the garden centres don't have drop of points for them. Good luck with the campaign.

JOHNSON, Cotswold Hills, England. said...

Getting rid of pots is quite a headache for me - I always have loads! Some I recycle through the council and I return as many as possible to the nurseries. I've found that the smaller the nursery, the more likely they are to want them. I also sell them at car boots - they sell remarkably well (to my surprise) - and it's nice to be able to then donate the proceeds....not always to my beer fund! Johnson

shirl said...

Hi there Johnson, thanks for your comment but sorry I've deleted your two additions to the Mr linky list as that is solely for links that people can take plastic plant pots to either for re-use or recycling. I’ll make that clearer in my posting :-)

Oh yes, the headache of the pots is indeed a big one for many. Thanks for adding your stories. Yep... this is the second time a car boot story has come up too... must tell my friend about selling at boot sales... thanks :-D

I agree completely about the smaller nurseries. I have been phoning a few around my area and switched on the PC (about an hour ago) to add to my posting but also at the same time plugged in the wires to a camera in a hedgehog house in my garden that my daughter built…

Whoopee… this is the first visit I have seen in the box and I am watching (live) a hog have a nap with one eye on the corner of my screen as I type this :-D

So, my additions to this posting will have to wait until tomorrow now… as once this hog moves out to go on its wanderings once more (estimate an hour after it arrived) I'll be editing this footage and posting it! Can't believe I caught it appearing inside... this is a first!!

Meanwhile, on the pot recycling/re-use front I have been hearing from councils today (list supplied by WRAP) and sadly not as many as I hoped recycle. Please do look back on this posting as I plan to keep updating it. This started as a challenge for others too and now I am finding it something I want to keep running with :-D

NEWS FLASH… the hog is almost out the building… time to look at my footage… my hour visit was accurate too :-D

VP said...

Hi Shirl - fantastic hedgehog posts, you must be thrilled with the results :)

Just crept in with a pot update from over at mine. I've had a commenter tell me that in Ontario, her garden store gives customers a 5 dollar voucher for evry 25 pots they bring back. What a great idea!