Single-use plastic, something most of us are doing our best to avoid or recycle, is a huge bane for gardeners. Due to the oversized nature of bulky plastic like plant pots, and the cost to haul it to processing plants in the North of England, a big proportion ends up in landfill. Few councils recycle plastic plant pots, meaning it inevitably builds up in the shed or under the potting bench.
For 2020, Toby’s Garden Festival has teamed up with Devon Contract Waste, one of the leading plastic recycling companies in the county, to invite gardeners to bring along their unwanted plastic plant pots to the festival for recycling.
DCW are placing a huge container in the main festival car park where visitors can dispose of pots for free. After the festival the pots will be taken away, shredded and recycled. All of the plastic processed goes back in granules into the UK plastic industry, reducing the CO2 and landfill impact, while also providing sustainable jobs in the Southwest.
Festival host Toby Buckland says: “It’s hard for gardeners to be green when so many plants we buy are in plastic pots. With so many different sizes, they’re impossible to stack neatly and even harder to get rid of. So DCW’s new recycling plant near Plymouth is a real breakthrough meaning what we can’t reuse gets recycled. I’m certainly looking forward to the extra space it’s going to take in my greenhouse!”
Devon Contract Waste’s managing director Simon Almond, says: “Plastic is one of the most difficult environmental issues, with over eight billion tonnes of plastic produced so far, and an additional 300 million tonnes still being produced annually. But every small step can lead to big changes and that’s why we are very proud to join Toby’s Garden Festival this year as a sponsor to help the show increase recycling and sustainability, plus it’s great working with such a passionate team who really care.”
Want to bring your unwanted pots to the festival? Here’s what you need to know
Pots must be rigid plastic and emptied of any plants and compost before you bring them to the festival site. DCW can accept as many pots as you can fit in your car (as you are visiting the show the CO2 produced in bringing your pots is already neutral). Please note: DCW CANNOT accept polystyrene pots or seed trays ONLY the rigid plastic plant pots including any black ones.