The West Somerset Garden Centre and horticultural industry take their environmental responsibilities incredibly seriously on the use and selling of peat. Peat has been, and continues to be, a staple of successful gardening due to its physical properties. The industry has made significant progress in regards to bagged growing media in developing peat-free and peat-reduced alternative products. More products are coming on to the market all the time. Soon the HTA will be launching a responsible sourcing scheme. This will give consumers more information about the environmental impacts of all the materials in their bags of growing media. There are some great alternatives, but it will take time to secure the volume of alternative materials needed to meet the overall demand of bagged growing media.
Plastic Pots (2019 update)
In just one year the industry has introduced kerbside recyclable non-black plastic pots. These pots differ in colour from the now traditional black and enables them to be put into household recycling. This will mean valuable materials don’t have to go to landfill and can be turned back into pots.
More and more UK plant growers across the industry are introducing these recyclable pots.
However, very few local authorities are currently collecting plastic plant pots. The HTA are calling on councils to change their guidance on the collection of plant pots. Consumers can support this by contacting their local councils.
It is remarkable to think an estimated 100 million pots destined for landfill could now be recycled instead!
Recyclable Plastic Pots
We're Going Green in 2018!
Inspired by the 2017 TV series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, Blue Planet II we have decided to extend our current recycling methods to all of our 30 staff members. As a business we have always been eco-conscious, making sure we recycle what we can from our packaging to our waste paper, being a Garden Centre we work daily to encourage people to 'green up' their lives, be it their garden or their home. Plants, Trees and Nature is the heart of what we do so everything we can do to protect these will be our mission for 2018 and beyond! The war on plastics was highlighted in Blue Planet and our management decided it was time to take action! Just a small step towards improving the ocean and our environment for generations to come.
Staff member's plastics in particular which are not collected by the Local Council can now be brought in to work and segregated into types for recycling collection with our normal plastics. We have set up a special 'Staff Recycling Point' with old wheelie bins to collect the different types of plastic which will be crushed and sent to our recycling partner Perrys along with our other plastic waste. As you can imagine the amount of plastic we receive on deliveries is vast, a great deal of this can be recycled into other packaging or recycled products helping to reduce the wastage and contamination in our seas.
The Hairy Pot Company - April 2018
Returning after a few years away are a small range of Perennials and Herbs available in plastic-free pots. 'The Hairy Pot Company' Kirton Farm Nurseries was started in 1984 by Derek and Caroline Taylor and now supplies a range of fantastic quality perennials and herbs grown as sustainably as we they manage. The plants are all grown in a peat free compost in coir fibre pots and marketed in returnable wooden display boxes and bespoke 'Hairy Pot Plant Company' pot labels. The plants are designed to be planted in the pot, so no wasted plastic pot. Plant straight in the ground or into your chosen container, no waste, no fuss, no plastic! To read more about the low-carbon methods used click here
Most commonly found in food packaging and plastic drinks bottles this type of plastic is widely recyclable and we have collected by Perrys Recycling for just that! Many products we buy on a weekly basis have PET1 packaging so instead of throwing into the waste, staff can now bring in to work for recycling if it isn't collected by their Local Council. These plastics are collected along with our plant trays and other items bearing the PET1 logo, baled from our Warehouse on a regular basis and taken to the local depot where they are sorted, granulated then sent on to UK re-processors for recycling in to other products such as office recycling bins, bens, benches.....all sorts!
'High Density Polyethylene' is a widely used and widely recycled plastic, commonly in the home in the form of milk bottles, a thermoplastic made from petroleum. Its often an opaque plastic also used as plastic bags and if not recycled takes centuries to degrade. HDPE Plastics are collected in a separate wheelie bin for staff members to bring in although they are generally collected by the Local Council.
Our Partnership with Perrys Recycling
Perrys also collect our Paper, Cardboard and Tins - all received as packaging for the products we sell. What we can we re-use to pack our Online Shop parcels and we even shred our Cafe menu for use in our Hampers! Any bubble wrap or polystyrene for packing is used when we send out our own parcels.
Our Cafe also produces waste tins and cardboard which is gathered daily to be sorted with our other recyclables. All of these are collected by Perrys and taken to their local depot where they are sorted and sent to UK re-processors to be made in to other items such as recycled cardboard boxes, recycled aluminium and recycled paper. Aluminium and Steel cans once collected are sorted and baled into 20 t loads at Perrys ready to be sent to the reprocessors at Corus Steel and made into a range of products.
Polythene – Good clean polythene film from palletised goods with a small amount of paper labels and sellotape is also collected in bales or clear polythene bags. This material is bulked and baled into mill size half tonne bales. Then transported in 25 tonne loads to the re-processor, which is shredded, washed, extruded and granulated into a quality raw material, which can then be used in the various industry's and made into new products.
More information on how the products we send to Perrys get recycled can be found on their website, along with helpful links to other sites which may be of interest >> http://www.perrys-recycling.co.uk/page/how_is_it_recycled/73
Hessian can be recycled too!
Perrys will also be collecting our waste hessian for recycling. We receive Hessian sacks and sheeting on many of our deliveries, garden pots for example are packaged with hessian to protect them from chips and cracks on their journey to us. Hessian can be broken down by specialist machinery and is made into new products such as carpet underlay. This is a new initiative for us as part of our #gogreenin2018 scheme and we have contacted Perry's specifically to deal with this type of waste, something we hadn't recycled before but the future looks good!
Our Staff Recycling Point
The next steps....
Our next step is to start buying only recycled paper, pens and other products to use in our Office and Store to complete the cycle. All staff are committed to doing what they can do reduce our impact on our environment and minimise pollution to our Oceans and our Planet. Where possible we will only purchase recycled materials and will actively try to reduce our daily consumption of non-recyclable goods. We are always looking for new products which use recycled materials to stock in our Store; Coffee Logs are a good example which are made from waste coffee grounds!
Eco-Friendly Products In-Store
FREE! Plant Trays for our Customers
As our own form of Recycling we offer used plant trays FREE of charge to our customers - useful for carrying your plants home or in and around the Garden or Greenhouse. See a member of staff In-Store - we usually have various shapes and sizes available.
We also offer FREE cardboard boxes to take your goods instead of purchasing a carrier bag, we receive hundreds of cardboard boxes every year with our deliveries so why not re-use them? Our cardboard is recycled if not re-used first, ask for a box at the till when you collect and if you order Online there's a good chance you will receive a your goods in a recycled cardboard box!
Our Store Lighting....
In 2017 all of our lighting both in the Store itself and under the Plant Canopy just outside the rear doors was changed to low energy LED. If its light outside we don't need any lights on in the store, our Polycarbonate roof, similar to that of a traditional Greenhouse, lets enough daylight in which allows us to save energy during the Spring, Summer and Autumn months as all of the lights can be off when other stores may have to have lights on all year round. In the darker months we use the lights early morning and later in the afternoon, but during the middle of the day we are able to turn them off. All this helps us to save energy and combined with the low energy bulbs, we are making steps to reducing our impact on the environment around us and to make the best of our natural daylight.
We even use Eco-Packaging!
Our Online Parcels are shipped either in recycled cardboard boxes which we have received our deliveries on, or are posted out in a Jiffy 'green' bag which is made purely from recycled paper and cardboard - no plastic! We keep plastic use to a minimum but where we do need to give fragile parcels that little bit of extra padding we use recycled bubble wrapping which again will have been received on one of our many stock deliveries.