Historically, plants have come in black plastic plant pots. If you’re a keen gardener, for example, you’ll recognise them. However, there is a fundamental problem with these.

Black plastic plant pots cannot be recycled because they cannot be detected my machinery used to sort plastics in the recycling process. Recycling black plastic is hard and because recycling facilities sort plastics by bouncing a beam of light off them.

Since black plastic absorbs light, it can’t be sorted and goes straight through the system and off to landfill or incineration.

Black plant pots traditionally have been affordable and can survive being outside at a garden centre without any damaging the plant. Furthermore, the black plastic prevents light getting in, protecting the plant and crucially the roots from UV damage.

The pots themselves generally are made from recycled plastic, though it appears that that is the end of their lifecycle, as they can’t be recycled further.

So what’s the solution? How can we as an industry be better?

Introducing an answer to the black non-recyclable pots: the taupe pot. Taupe is a grey/ brown colour, that can be easily identified in the recycling process, as the machines sift and scan through the refuse.

They also have the advantage that like the black pots, they protect the roots from sun damage.

At YGS Landscapes, not only are we environmentally minded when it comes to the work that we do, but also in how we can be better, how we can go the extra mile, and we can find more greener solutions. Across the board we will be using these new recyclable plant pots where practicably possible, to work towards a greener future.

Sources: BBC, Recycle Now.