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Jamie McIntosh

Recycling Garden Pots

By February 7, 2012

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I'm sure I'm not the only one who wonders what to do with those flimsy plastic six packs after planting the flowers they contain. There isn't any "chasing arrow" symbol that signifies that this item can be recycled. They certainly can't be reused, as the plastic tears away from the plants as they are dislodged.

The light weight of disposable plant six packs makes them cheap to ship, but some horticultural industry officials argue that standardization of nursery pots would make them easier to recycle. Meanwhile, gardeners can reduce waste by starting more plants from seed at home. In lieu of plastic six packs, home gardeners can fashion biodegradable pots from newspaper, or can purchase cow pots made of compressed cow manure.

If your recycling center doesn't take the #2, #5, or #7 pots commonly used in the nursery trade, save the heavier duty pots for planting up divisions for friends. After several years of hoarding some of these quart-sized pots in my garage, I was thankful to have them when giving away excess ostrich ferns that were taking over my shade garden last year.

Photo © Joby Elliott

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