The Chicago Tribune has a feature story today on how the horticulture industry is trying to "green up" the way it uses plastic products, including trays, flats and pots. The story notes that "Growers, big-box stores, manufacturers and garden centers are under pressure not just from more environmentally conscious consumers, but from the zooming prices of oil and natural gas -- the raw materials of plastics. Though a substantial proportion of the plastic resin that goes into the larger, sturdier pots is recycled from other sources, not much of that gets reused or recycled again. Most goes to landfills." But talks are underway to fix the problem. This week the American Nursery & Landscape Assocation is discussing a proposal to make recycling easier by standardizing and limiting the sizes of pots and the materials used to make them. According to the story, one of the industry's goals is to produce a biodegradable pot that could be planted directly into the soil. That's certainly possible today -- but I doubt that consumers will be eager to pay a premium for such products. Thanks to Pete Fehrenbach, managing editor of sister newspaper Waste & Recycling News, for alerting me to this story.
Making gardening greener
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