Horticulture Week carried out a study that found only 9 out of 70 local authorities sampled had a recycling scheme for plastic garden waste in place. Even though there are guidelines that all plant pots, except the non-recyclable black variety, should be picked up in roadside collection – sadly, this just is not happening. Black plastic pots are unable to be recycled due to their colour, because they cannot be detected by machinery used to sort plastics in the recycling process. Also, the dye used in the plastic takes longer to biodegrade. It takes 450 years for plastic to degrade in a landfill site!

There is some good news that taupe coloured pots are being made that can be recycled easily in our recycling bins – but is there anything else we could do?

Make your own pots from newspaper or waste paper! 

This is a fun and easy activity – the young seedlings grow well in their paper pots. When you plant them outside, you can leave them in their paper pots as the paper quickly biodegrades in the soil, adding organic matter into the soil. 

Literally – paper potting is a real solution to plastic pot pollution!

Why not have a go? Watch our video below to find out how.

Want to do more?

Two easy things you can do are:

  1. Find out if your council will do a road side collection of plant pots – if not, ask why not when it is the government recommendation.
  2. Reuse as many plant pots as you can or donate them to community growing projects.

Royal Horticultural Society

Royal Horticultural Society is Britain’s largest gardening charity and the RHS Campaign for School Gardening aims to inspire and supports schools and youth organisations to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development.

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