When will we ever see the introduction of biodegradable plant pots introduced from nursery stage production through to final sale to our customers. The current situation is that many plastic pots just end up in landfill sites and they take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Even when they do finally break up they break down into tiny particles which act like sponges in our soils and our seas, soaking up all manner of toxins, so much so that the World Health Organisation is researching as to whether they are responsible for causing cancer.
Here at The Secret Garden we always look to pass pots onto small growers and customers who need some pots for seed sowing but with every season our we accrue a large number of pots. We have even taken on pots from customers to prevent them from being incinerated and adding toxins to the atmosphere. We have taken pots back to our local recycling centre. However such are the demands of the energy required to recycle the pots that certain environmentalists claim that pot recycling schemes are no more than a marketing spin.
Biodegradable plant pots are now widely available but yet still so few nurseries use them . These are made out of natural substances such as bamboo pulp, by-products of coconut shells and grain husks. When in use and unbroken, the bamboo pulp pots can last up to five years. When the protective glaze is broken they will biodegrade within 6-18 months. Perhaps this is a role for Bord Bia to address with both nurseries and garden centres alike. We are certainly keen to ditch the plastic but not into landfill.